October 20th, 2010

The Sizzle Query: Musings On Manlove


Denmark’s Simon Kjaer & Thomas Sorensen get close. (AP Photo/Daylife)

What is it about the presence of grass, bits of wood and inflated spheres that allow men to throw off the usual trappings of masculinity and snog each others faces off? Where else (apart from in bars at 2am after too much jagerbombing) are such expressions of happiness and joy accepted without comment or insinuation?

Oh, football is a wonderful place, no?

This website loves itself a bit of manlove. Regular visitors will know this. Whether it’s a budding bromance, an established life partnership (left) or a quick n’dirty snog after a goal, the whole shebang is a collective pool of loveliness to us.

But why? What is it about two hot guys showin’ the love that makes us dribble? We’ve considered this over Kickette Cake-Break (a new, regular feature of our day which may or may not result in fewer posts while we recover from excessive consumption of icing sugar) and have decided it’s because we don’t hold with gender stereotypes.

You see, it would severely inhibit our perving options to only lust after men exhibiting traditional masculine traits such as brute strength, a large beard and/or pride in emotional isolation. Our policy? If you look good in a pair of shorts, you’re in. If you look good in a pair of shorts AND are sufficiently comfortable in your sexuality to get close to your boys without fear that some asshat will accuse you of being gay, you’re moving in. A torso like this is merely a bonus. (Getty Images/Daylife)

Right, Kickettes. Nail files down. Tell us why the manlove rings your bell. Who are you favourite bromance buddies? Does the matter inspire deep existential consideration? Or are you just a simple lech? We’re waiting for your thoughts.

In case anyone is unclear, we’re talking about heterosexual men expressing simple platonic affection towards one another. Anyone unable to cope with the subtlety of this concept and feeling the urge to utilise the word ‘gay’ in a comment with a derogatory tone should probably head back to kindergarten. This is the area for grown-ups.

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98 Responses to “The Sizzle Query: Musings On Manlove”

  1. the mrs. says:



  2. StrikeTwo says:

    "Geri and Zlatan (is there a name for this one?)"

    Ongoing (hopefully).

  3. senorita pique says:

    To me pique and bojan is puree love <3
    i grew up mesmerized by Kaka and Ronaldo <33
    iam jealous of sernando and wish to be olala's sister so i could just be nearer to the love <333
    ohh the endless possibilities of future sexy steamy bromances leaves my imagination running wild!!!! teehee

  4. @AgnesWonka says:

    Cesc/Nick ….please! that's COOL manlove!

  5. @AgnesWonka says:

    an area for grow-ups? mmmm I think an area for teenagers!

  6. Rossanera says:

    Alessandro Del Piero and Francesco Totti – a classic for the ages.

  7. Laurenxx says:


  8. rupster says:

    I love all forms of man-love…Seein these grown men,who supposed to be in a manly tough sport,in moments of unguarded happiness run up to each other and hold on tight and smooch like there's no tmr? wow! And not to mention the sweet caresses and comforting hugs… Seeing these men looking at each other, as if nothing exists in the world but each other? that's undeniably hott!
    No discrimination for me, but nothing is as scorching hott or sweetly tender at the same time as my faves:
    1. Xabi and Stevie
    2. Sernando
    3. Fabrique
    4. Becksillas

  9. @Tine_11 says:

    Aaaah, the football bromance is a thing of beauty. I'm quite partial to Agger/Skrtel, which is quite hard to get a glimpse of, and therefor makes me swoon even harder when it happens.

    Fabriqué, my other favourite, is quite the opposite: they're so in-you-face you can't deny them. They're awesome!

  10. rubyqueen says:

    the epic love and adoration that is gernando.:)they make my heart burst with affection everytime the celebrate and fall all over each other.:)please god don't break up my ultimate otp.!!!:'(

  11. footieflu says:

    Ahhhhh!!!!!…. Don't we just LOVE these moments :)

  12. Steph says:

    Becksillas. The original.

  13. Shrimp says:

    1) Ramos/Navas
    2) Fabrique
    3) Sernando
    4) Xabi and Stevie
    ah…….just thinking abou this makes my heart melt

  14. Nora says:

    Kickette, why must you always pose such drool worthy questions when I'm in class and make me start to giggle? Let me tell you, aviation regulations are nothing to giggle about, and my professor looked like he wanted to take my head off.

    This is such a hard question, but when it comes down to already existing bromances, its got to be Sernando or Fabrique. I mean, Xabi/Stevie was great, but now it just makes me sad (and my mascara run in an undignified kickette manner) to think about it. But in my exceedingly perverted mind, my favorite bromance would be Villa/Silva. I just see oh-so-naughty images in my head… and then I reach for my bottle of rum to give me more inspiration. If I ever saw them snog, I would be have to live in a convent because I would be convinced that I would never be able to experience anything close to that hot ever again and …*drool*

    Okay, I'm going to go live in my pervy dreamland with the Spanish NT now. Feel free to come if you bring alcohol or cake/brownies

  15. mcgee says:

    best bromance ever is Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique! Fabrique!! Kaka and C.Ronaldo are also pretty hot!

  16. Emme says:

    I am liking all the man-love going on at Real Madrid..they are always hugging lately. I think someone else already said this, but I like Sami & Ozil if i had to pick one bromance in particular. That pic of them giggling together when the German NT was receiving their awards was nothing but priceless. I am suspicious that Ozil & Cristiano are falling for each other though. Not such a big deal as long as there is enough to go around for everyone.

    • canederli says:

      Ha! I'm not the only one who sees the Ozil/Cristiano thing happening right before Sami and Kaka's eyes! I swear, if Cris gets Ozil wearing silver hot pants, I'll fly to Madrid and kick his ass. And I also don't want Sami to be sad without his main man. Kaka has religion. Poor Sami will be adrift. Oh well, Marcelo always seems willing to give a big hug at least!

      That piccy of Sami & Ozil giggling like two teenage girls at a slumber party is flat out adorable.

      • Emme says:

        Sami and Mesut are definitely one for the ages. The way Crissy has been looking at Mesut though has definitely got me thinking there is something going on. I thought this might happen between the two of them. There is a lot of love at Real, so I don't think Sami will get left out. Maybe he and The Ramos could hook up – i mean, they both have a mutual love for their headbands and totally weird clothing. Don't know if you saw those pics of the new signings at the Bernabeau, but Sami looks like he is wearing some sort of Sergio concoction.

        • canederli says:

          So would they be SaMe or Khozil? ;-)

          Yeah, I've noticed CR casting loving glances at Mesut quite a bit. Sami & The Ramos would be amazing together. Sergio needs an acolyte. I guess if we see Sami carrying a manbag, we'll know its ON.

          • Emme says:

            Both of those could work…SaSut, perhaps? :) Glad you think The Ramos & Sami would be great together. It would be great to see them out shopping together or maybe at a flamenco performance. I think it would work. SaGio or maybe SaMos :) lol!

            • canederli says:

              Oh totally SaMos! Apparently we're not the only ones seeing the CR-Ozil bromance – I'm seeing more and more comments on it. It even has a name – Crozil! If you check out unamadridista's blog: http://unamadridista.wordpress.com/ Someone posted Crozil gifs from the Racing Santander game. Well, Ozil will be sitting the Murcia game out and hopefully, The Ramos will be back in action so this will give some time for the SaMos bromance to bloom. As long as they don't get matching cornrows, I'm cool with that. ;-)

              • Emme says:

                lol- I saw that & it was sooo cute! I love it – Crozil :) I really want this SaMos thing to happen even if I have to find a way for it to happen myself! I would secretly think it very funny if matching cornrows actually happened. (I know the rest of the world would be completely horrified) It would be like having a BFF forever necklace or something. I hate to think of Sami & Mesut not being THE number one bromance at Real, but I think it would be good for them to branch out a bit :)

              • Emme says:

                oh & one more thing – just read that Sami & Sergio are both Real's emergency goalkeepers and have to train every week in goalkeeping! i guess that is something for them to bond over :)

  17. BarceLisa says:

    old school Manlove: Diego Maradona and Claudio Caniggia. here's proof: http://bolanosaco.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/mar… and http://www.vivadiego.com/41river.jpg is it any wonder Mrs Caniggia said she was sure Maradona was in love with her husband? So you see Manlove is not a new phenomenon.

    • katarche101 says:

      You weren't kidding, were you. Could not stop laughing when I realized the first photo was saved as "maradona labios de dios e caniggia" — Maradona, lips of God, and Caniggia!

  18. Favorite bromances: Sergio Ramos/Fernando Torres #1 but I also love the platonic love of Iker/Sergio Ramos and Xabi/Stevie.

  19. Aww my danish boys, you make my proud!

  20. caitanya says:

    I don't have any particular bromance love but hot damn, kjaer and sorenson look pretty delish together–give me two hot danes any day!

  21. Natalya says:


  • Zinny says:

    I have two favorite man-loves and each has its own distinct appeal
    Sernando: Sergio Ramos/Fernando Torres. This is a fiery, passionate man-love. They seem so into each other, like in a serious way. It's absolutely amazing to see the smiley, happy Sergio with the usually serious and reserved Fernando. I think Sergio has a really good effect on Nando; he seems super happy whenever he's with him.

    Fabrique: Gerard Pique/Cesc Fabregas. These two look like they know EVERYTHING about each other and would do anything for the other one. They're always joking around and just being complete dorks together and I absolutely love it. I know for a fact that they'll be best friends forever. They are each others's true loves! Forget Carla and Nuria.

  • Bebo Ronaldo says:

    Kaka and Ronaldo hav 2 be the hottest bromance of all times I mean it is just sooooo cute wachn them 2 togeda and they r both incomplete without the other…I say if they wer gay then they’d prbbly b goin out…they just need an excuse 2 jump in2 each others arms and the way they celebrate their goals I jus wana get in there with them…two of the hottest players FOREVA!!!

  • chivas! says:

    Me, I love the Manlove partly because the ultimate turn-OFF is hatefulness. Being fearful – being a bully – being insecure – I don't care how hot a man is, those are deal-breakers! The PDA feels joyous, feels confident, and … it's just super-super-sexy. You can imagine being the pickle in the middle of 2 slices of manlove bread!

  • Lotte (Zlatanista) says:

    Is ist just me or doesn´t Pique seem very hungry for love from his fellow footballers? I mean he has been linked to so many: Zlatan and Pique (such a beautiful story a la Brokeback Mountain), Cesc and Pique, Bojan and Pique (so cute!) Puyol and Pique and also Iniesta and Pique (Pique seems to really enjoy rubbing Iniesta head…ehh).

    But the most recent display of manlove in my mind is when Xavi made that pass to Puyi and he sored in the game against Valencia. Puyi turned to Xavi and just clutched him forcefully to his chest. The look in Puyis eyes! That actually WAS love.

    I think the reason why we love these affections between the players is that, sadly, that is the closest we will get to experience actions of love from them, sigh. That, and the fact that we are openminded, modern women

    • Lotte (Zlatanista) says:

      Wow my spelling is really bad. But i was watching the Barca – FC Köpenhamn game at the same time. Where, btw, Puyi took his shirt off. And now i will try to go to sleep…

    • Jeri says:

      definitely not just you who's noticed that! I find it to be one of his most endearing qualities… :)

  • Peggy says:

    Easily Navas/Sergio. Spaniardsss yum :)

  • Dru says:

    Now on to the actual question of WHY manlove rings my bells…

    Seriously, how often do we ever get to see men- straight men- being openly affectionate to each other? As exuberantly, adorably, passionately and most importantly, OPENLY as so many ballers are? In what other context would you ever get to see two men hugging each other -and I mean properly hugging, not that half-hearted half-squeeze that boys do when they don't want to get too close to you- or kissing each other in front of several thousand people? And where else do they get to do it without people questioning their masculinity?

    So yeah, to sum it up, a.k.a. The Reasons Why Footballer Manlove Is Something I Love…

    1. Manlove is rare, public manlove is even rarer. Footballers don't seem shy about showing it. Exhibitionism yay!
    2. They're often very, er, appealing to look at (and even if they're not, being in manlove makes them adorable)
    3. Geri/Zlatan (RIP to that 'ship, waaaah), Iker/Sergio, Kaka/Cristiano, Stevie/Fern, Geri/Cesc, Blanc/Barthez (oldie but goodie), Chamakh/Gourcuff, Iker/Becks, Villa/Fern, Iniesta/Xavi, Becks/Neville….quite a few of these are over as a result of transfers/retirement, but my list would fill the page if I went on.

    • Jeri says:

      I like this answer! I'd been hoping someone could explain to me why I adore it so very much…yay exhibitionism indeed! And Chamakh/Gourcuff!! They were actually the first pair that made me "aww," followed by Cesc & Pique. I also love Stevie/Xabi and Sergio/Fernando. And Schweini/Poldi. And Villa/Silva. And Iker/Becks. Seriously, there are so many! How can you not love them all?

  • sarrible says:

    Where? Sweden.

  • VickiTorres says:

    Sernando they are sooo cute it´s awesome it makes me happy every time:)

  • Dru says:

    This is kind of an oldie, but…..Blanc/Barthez. Does anyone else remember Les Bleus's current manager landing a kiss on the bald head of the first goalkeeper I ever loved, before EVERY SINGLE ONE of their matches for France/Man U?

    *sigh* Gernando, Geri/Zlatan (*sobs* but they broke up!), and Iker/Sergio run a VERY close second for me, though. Yeah, all three of them.

    • Rusty (Mrs Fritz) says:

      OMG, I remember them, at least for France.

    • katarche101 says:

      Yes, I am ancient enough to remember Fabien & Laurent. :p The younger guys are setting new land speed records for overt affection though. I guess we don't have anyone old enough here to remember the 60s and 70s. Too bad – an eye witness report would be fascinating!

  • loves la roja says:

    i love the four musketeers of real madrid – sergio, xabi, alvaro and albiol. sigh…. but agree, you can't go wrong with sernando and fabrique!

  • YvoGirl says:

    The ultimate bromance has got to be Stvie and Xabi. All the elements of a beautiful relationship. From the interesting beginnings to the tragic ending and then to repentace and reconcilition. It was just beautiful.

    However for a current bromance, I have to say as an Arsenal fan, Cecsy and Nasri. It is still in its early stages and may soon end when Cescy leaves for dream team Barca, however the nuances are all there. Any time they score or assist in a goal, they always seek each other out, have a laugh and smile and a pat or hug or embrace. Such beautiful bromance. Though when Cesc leaves for Barca, poor Nasri will have to watch afar as the whole of the Catalan team will be competing for Cescy's undivided attention.

    • Leya_S says:

      As you mention that, it kind of makes me sad.
      I know Cesc has always had and will always have Barca in him, and I'll be happy when he joins them over there (since I'm a Barca fan), but I'll miss watching him at Emirates!!!

  • Leya_S says:

    Something about men being genuinely excited to play the game they love with their friends and not being afraid to show their affection for one another makes me soooooo happy!

    Favorite Bromance:
    Kaka and C-Ron, believe it or not! I just think Kaka completes CRon; I like him more when he's with Kaka.

    Geri and Cescy (Fabrique)
    Geri and Zlatan (is there a name for this one?)
    Schweinsteiger and Podolski (Schweinski)
    Sergio Ramos and Fern (Sernando)
    Xavi and Iniesta

    • Niina says:

      Oh my, that tender moment Pique and Zlatan had when Z left Barca, that was something. I'm not a huge fan of either of them separately, but together they were something special…

    • YvoGirl says:

      Geritan and Xaviesta!

      Kaka and C-Ron are definitely a beautiful Bromance. I love it when they celebrate together! Get better Kaka

  • Hannah (Mrs Gerrard-Lampard-Torres-Terry-Fabregas) says:


    Gotta be them :)

  • Sahar says:

    Kaka and ronaldo. They had manlove for each other before they were even teammates. Two gorgeous men with beautiful ladies but would rather be with each other. Their interviews are so cute. I especially love the YouTube video where real Madrid are on top of a building. Kaka is leaning over the edge and Cris just grabs him away from the ledge. He will always protect his beloved kaka. When one scores they celebrate with others but they always look for each other first. Cris looks at kaka with so much love.

  • LuvinBale says:

    Any manlove is good manlove. I love it!!!
    The Giggs and Scholes kiss was adorable!
    I have no problems with it what so ever- especially when there is a man pile involved
    It’s just nice to know that the team supports each other whole heartedly.

  • YouNeverWalkAlone says:

    Like Lea, Fabregas and Pique :) also Stevie Xabi….ah i miss that one….

  • Niina says:

    The spaniards are delightfully generous with their manlove, and even the NT training seems to consist of hand holding and piggyback rides. But can you blame them, I'd definitely hold hands with Iker any chance I got!

  • PP Longstocking says:

    They're surrounded by people who don't understand their language, they can't properly communicate with their new fans, they've left their comforts of their homes, friends and family. All they have is each other. Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira. An international love story. Coming to theaters in May 2011.

    • canederli says:

      I'm with you 100% – I love the Ozil/Khedira bromance. However, I think Cristiano is trying to muscle in on that action. Sami better watch his back!

      • Leya_S says:

        Cristiano's just missing Kaka is all.

        • lacota says:

          Chris/Kaka bromance ….I totally don't get. How does a manwhore become freinds with this reliogous saint. CR better not be corrupting him.

          • PP Longstocking says:

            dude, I SO don't get that. I mean what do they talk about?

          • Leya_S says:

            Lol, its weird, I know but I love it for that reason.
            I think Cris seeks guidance from Kaka:

            "What do I do Kaka? I just had a baby by some rando girl who's face I can't remember, and my girlfriend's mad!"
            "Did you talk to her?"
            "I was going to, but I couldn't find my shirt and got, uhh…distracted…by the maid…"
            "Uhhh, okayyyyy, so why don't you try taking her out and talking to her."
            "Well I tried that, but I was waiting for her at the restaurant and the waitress offered to go home with me, sooooo….."
            "Turn to God. Come with me to church."
            "I knew you'd say that, but I did the pastor's wife, so that's out."
            "Oh, Cris…."

            • hereforthenando says:

              GREAT DIALOGUE. You should be the head writer of the wacky sitcom starring C Ron and Kaka, with kind of an "I Love Lucy" type dynamic. Cris is such a Lucy.

              • Leya_S says:

                haha, thanks.
                lol, "I love CRon"….haha, that gets funnier every time I say it to myself, actually, haha.

    • KimB says:

      I'm also with you on this one. Isolation, lonliness but with camaraderie lead to one HELL of a man love. They seem so happy together!

      • canederli says:

        Don't they though? I mean, that's some tender manlove, yo. I mean, look how gently Sami is cradling Mesut's head after he scored during that really rough Germany vs. Turkey game.

        In the pictures right before that, Sami is trying to get through the crowd of players to get to Mesut and he looks so concerned. Those two together make me "awwwwwwww!"

        I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds Cris/Kaka such a weird couple. I would love to be a fly on the wall for some of those conversations. I think Leya has it spot on! ;-)

    • Leya_S says:

      Oh YES.
      I forgot this one!
      But their's is even more intense bc they live together. Love it!
      P.S. I like the trailer!

      • PP Longstocking says:

        LOL thanks. Now on to the important part…they LIVE TOGETHER??? Where did you read that? I must google this now.

        • Emme says:

          I'm with you Miss PP Longstocking – I love those two. They are my favorite bromance as well. They do live together. There was a huge deal in the beginning of the season b/c Jose said they were socially isolated from the team and mentioned that they lived together. Kickette did a post on it. Something like Sami Khedira & Mesut Ozil: Lost in Spain. I heart them and I hope they stay with Los Merengues for a very long time.

    • Nell says:

      I don't even know anything about this one, but I'm sold.

  • DeeRoma says:

    Only in our dreams? Well, on the pitch at least because then security gets called, fines and jail time are possible..

    • littlegirl says:

      thank you for the warning…can you immagine what a grat problem if i would run in the pitch during a Spain match jumping over that two guys???XD i'm thinking if i'm ready to the jail only to touch Nando…i don't know…is better remain in my dreams…

  • Lola says:

    Stevie/Xabi, although now it's more like a tragic lovestory.

  • blake2108 says:

    Simon Kjaer is the definition of perfection for me. Long blonde hair, gorgeous blue eyes, headband, killer body (probably), the list goes on. I'd do anything and everything to him. Sorensen is a lucky guy in that pic. I'd have snogged the face off of him, and probably done other things that would have got me arrested no doubt.

    As for bromances, my favourite has to be Aaron Ramsey and Nicklas Bendtner. Both so cute and young and sexy and just adorable. They look so cute together, a bromance which I don't think has been picked up yet on kickette.

    I want them both. At once preferably.

    • Lashes says:

      Kjær has a almost killer body though he as most danish players are really really pale and rarely strip off post match, and the NT wonders why nobody wants to watch them lose!?

  • Leá says:

    I'd say Fabrique and Sernando. Nando and Sergio are so cute together! I love their brotherly affection for each other. And of course Cesc and Geri are the ultimate. Both are Bromances that will (hopefully) endure until the end of time.

  • zztop says:

    I like the cheek pecking very much. The argentines are especially good at it. It's like they can't stand it if they can't get a kiss in. And I always think " gosh, if they are so affectionate with the guys imagine how lovey they are with their wives / gfs", though that may be just wishful thinking on my part.

  • hereforthenando says:

    The Gerrnando Bromance is a romance for the ages. Everything that I know about love, I learned from their tender hugs with not-so-subtle hair sniffs during moments of post-goal euphoria.

    They make me believe in true love.

    • sarrible says:

      They are truly Scooby and Shaggy. I shall let everyone else determine which is which.

      • hereforthenando says:

        I am having an incredibly difficult time trying to decide who would be Shaggy and who would be Scooby. On the one hand, Stevie is hairier and would make a great Scooby Doo, but on the other hand, Fernando often doesn't pronounce things correctly in English and the man would obviously do anything for a Scooby Snack.

        Kickette, can you please have a post where you compare our favourite footballer bromances with the great romances of our time?? I mean, how many epic love stories could you compare Fabrique to? I'm thinking star-crossed lovers.

    • Natalya says:

      I completely agree. Although I think Sernando is quite sexy, you can't deny that Torres and Gerrard are soul mates. Have you ever seen Torres look happier than in he is here: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v18/goopiespanz…

      As for our general love of bromances, I think it has something to do with the tragedy of forbidden love. They cannot be together in this ironically affectionate yet machismo football world, and our hearts break for them. That and the eye candy that comes with it.

  • Berbie's Barbie says:

    My favorite manlove/bromance = Sernando.
    I'm lost for words when it comes to those two Spanish beauties.

  • CarmenFoxe says:

    OI. PINKY! You better take your hands of Villa!

  • Jan says:

    Definately fabregas and piqué. No question.

  • Taskeen says:

    Too right, manlove definitely shows that they're man enough to be affectionate without being nervous of anyone questioning their sexuality. The worst one was when people started questioning that pic of Zlatan and Geri. My fave has to be The Ramos when he gives everyone a little peck on the cheek before matches sometimes, lol i think its too sweet. And there's a hilarious vid on youtube with Geri getting mischievous and then giving Puyol a huge smacker on the head, aaah we gotta love these Spaniards:)

  • Maria says:

    I proper miss that "summer affair" between David Villa and Nando during the Euro 2008. That was my favourite display of manlove EVER!!! But since then, either one of them is not in form so we haven't seen them destroying defences together… but that first match against Russia will always be in my mind as the beginning of their bromance :D
    Oh!! And Kaka seems to give manlove to everyone!! ANd I love him for that :D I miss his pretty face :( Hope he gets better soon!!

    • Dru says:

      Oh yeah. I remember David actually running over to meet with a benched Fern after scoring a goal during that tournament, though it's sad they've never been quite at their best at the same time since (Torres's injuries, aaaagh). Even cuter, David's wife Patricia likes Olalla so much they even named their second kid after her.

  • DeeRoma says:

    I am an unabashed Serie A/Italy girl, so the manlove is always on display. I truly think Roma can give a master class on it. Why it appeals to me? Unbridled joy combined with the passion the players show for the game of course. It is very moving.

    My favorite bromance would have to be DDR/the rest of the world. This man can manhug/celebrate with anybody and it always looks genuine. Whether it's Totti, Mexes or anyone on Roma lucky enough to score that goal, or his fellow national teammates, he usually always ramps it up to an 11.

  • Trish says:

    If given the opportunity, I'd snog Sorensen's face off. So it's understandable that his fellow players, in a moment of celebratory joy, might do the same. :D