What needs to be borne in mind, however, is that the majority of footballers are truly terrible people who would happily practice freekicks with the heads of tiny Romanian orphans without a flicker of remorse.

“If you can strike up an intelligent conversation with men about the teams, players, and game,” she says, “you'll suddenly be the only girl in the room.” Soccer players are universally known to be the sexiest athletes, and their fans aren’t half-bad, either.

As they stream out of the woodworks for the 2014 World Cup, admirers of those flat abs and strong calves emerge to grab a piece of the soccer pie.

The soccer player has a natural, incredibly sexy shape.

They're in great shape, but not because they are meatheads who are obsessed with beefing up at the gym. So if you go to the beach or park, he'll probably have a soccer ball.

Here’s how to build rapport with the same effortless grace that helps Lionel Messi find the back of the net. But if you're choosing a player, try not to choose the most popular, as it won't help you stand out from the other bandwagon fans.” Make sure you know a thing or two about the player whose name is emblazoned across your back. “The worst thing you can wear,” warns Lander, “is a pink jersey, or anything with rhinestones.” Know the greats Knowing who David Beckham is says more about your ability to Google “sexiest athletes” than it does about your familiarity with the sport.

Dress the part Watching a soccer game at a bar is not the time for short skirts and strappy sandals. Pete Burridge of soccer news website the18says a little research goes a long way.

They're obscenely, hideously wealthy, they keep themselves fit, they get into VIP clubs and enjoy a degree of celebrity.

Additionally, some of them are genuinely handsome - who wouldn't fancy a romp with Ronaldo or a fling with Figo?

As a lover of all sports, the idea of dating a female athlete has always been easy to take to.