Lionel Messi’s got none, Ronaldinho had one, while Cristiano Ronaldo flaunts two and then some! Before the guesses drift the football way, hold your horses, for we are talking about studs of a different kind.
We live in a time when these sportsmen let their skills do all the talking on the field, while off it, it’s their love for natural diamonds that lights up their dynamic personalities.
Such is their affinity for the precious stone and its sparkle, that it’s enough reason to amend the cliche about diamonds being a girl’s best friend!
The classy suits and boots, clubbed with flashy wheels, were the norm for sportsmen during the early days. When a few mavericks realized the need to stand out from the crowd, there wasn’t a better way to do it than by pairing some radiant natural diamonds with the latest garb from their abundant wardrobes.
A diamond is the epitome of finesse that contrasts their hardy image at play.
At the same time, the hardest substance in the world best personifies their unbreakable spirit under testing situations. It is the perfect reward for their tenacity, an indulgence that is well deserved and carried off with great flair at the end of a demanding day.
What was once the domain of the wives and girlfriends has today been embraced by the sportsmen themselves. He is now conscious of his image off the field, and his closet features everything from diamond rings to neckpieces and studs that add to his persona when in the public eye.
Before the 90s, the NBA Championship ring was perhaps the only association that male sports stars had with the timeless diamond. The first American basketball superstar to don a natural diamond earring and make a style statement was Michael Jordan, while over in Italy, footballer Roberto Baggio sported a hoop alongside his trademark ponytail. As the popularity of these role models grew with time, their image became everything. Diamonds came at a cost, but it was the perfect ally to set off the ogles and drools, each time they stepped out in the spotlight.
The first superstar to score the moolah thanks to his dashing good looks and his fine taste in diamonds was undoubtedly Englishman David Beckham. Football skills aside, Beckham’s diamond studs were a unique statement of success that made audiences across the globe sit up and take notice! At the same time, it was undoubtedly a luxury of sorts and the exclusive domain of only an accomplished few like Beckham. The world soon realised that men flashing diamonds was as cool as ever – a trend in conscious luxury that is continued today by footballers like Ronaldo, Paul Pogba and Neymar.
Other sportsmen didn’t take too long to catch up with Beckham’s indulgences. While boxing was once known for the raw aggression of Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather’s press conference now drew as many eyeballs as his bout, thanks to the bling he sported.
Their love for natural diamonds lights up their dynamic personalities.
On the other side of the continent, cricketer Hardik Pandya earned an instant fan following by amping up his red carpet look with lavish accessories such as diamond earrings, with rings and bracelets to match. A Patek Philippe Nautilus watch with gold and diamonds lit up his social media handle. Then right before the World Cup in 2019, he upped his game with a customised bat and ball diamond pendant that sat pretty around his neck.
The natural diamonds on display charmed the crowds and took the popularity of these athletes to a whole new level. And the fluidity of diamond jewellery meant that they could be worn almost anywhere. Pogba celebrated France’s success at the 2018 World Cup by handing out diamond-encrusted rings to the entire squad; Ronaldo had the world in a tizzy when he stepped out in Dubai in true red carpet style, wearing a Rolex watch that featured an exquisite 30 carats of white diamonds.
Today, a stud donned by young guns like Indian cricketer Shreyas Iyer or Pandya’s diamond indulgence is an instant talking point for the media and fans alike. Then, there are others for whom the diamond has become an integral part of their identity – picture Formula One world champion, Lewis Hamilton, and it’s hard to imagine him without those real diamonds that he flaunts so gracefully.
These dashing men are adept sportspersons in their own right and celebrated individuals because of it.
Natural diamonds have added a whole new dimension to their dynamic personalities and the sporting world at large, proving to be the perfect match between sportsmen and their sparkle.