Cristiano Ronaldo must be giving David Beckham nightmares. The rising, young Portuguese soccer star is not only stealing his thunder on the soccer field, but also in front of the camera for Armani.
Ronaldo, 24, who plays for Spanish soccer team Real Madrid replaced Beckham, 34, as the face – and body – of the Italian brand for its spring/summer 2010 season.
He joins hottie Megan Fox, who replace Beck’s wife and former Spice Girl, Victoria, as part of a youth movement at the Italian fashion house. Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott shot Fox in Los Angeles and Ronaldo on location in Madrid.
If anything Ronaldo proves, once again, that running around on a soccer field doesn’t leave much room for body fat. Like Beckham, he has a chiseled body that takes the term “six-pack abs” to an all new level.
The 24-year-old reportedly maintains his physique by doing 3,000 sit-ups a day, enough to send Giorgio Armani in a swoon over the “sexy” sportsman.
“Cristiano is a great-looking young man with the perfect physique of an athlete,” Armani said. “For me, he is the essence of youth – spontaneous, exciting and a real maverick.
“It is for his energy that I have chosen Cristiano to become the new face of Armani Jeans and Emporio Armani Underwear – for his youthful, exciting, and, yes, sexy attitude,” the designer said.
Ronaldo returned the compliment: “I am very flattered to be asked to represent Armani. Giorgio Armani is a legend in the fashion world and I have long been a fan of his work.”
“I am very pleased with the pictures we have done together – they are certainly striking and are full of attitude and a spirit I can relate to,” he said in a statement.
Ronaldo is not well known in the United States, but a few more campaigns like this and he’ll also follow Beckham to Hollywood.
Check out these other photos. Click to supersize.