While the World Cup is primarily an opportunity for footballers to make their claim for glory, and in some cases make a name for themselves, with the glare of the world focused on tournament, that opportunity is not limited to the pitch.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino ensured his face was associated with the tournament, as cameras cut to him early in every game in the stands. The Swiss also watched 45 minutes of one game and 45 minutes of another in order to attend every match.
In the stands, there was another figure that became a constant in a very different way. Croatian model Ivana Knoll, now based in Miami shot to fame during the tournament, as she was broadcast around the world supporting her national team. It has led to a remarkable boost in her profile, most recently meeting Canadian rapper Drake and attending a Leonardo di Caprio soiree.
It appears her presence did not go unnoticed by many, even on the pitch. Knoll has revealed (Barstool Sports via Sport) that some footballers at the World Cup messaged her during the tournament, asking her to meet with them via Instagram.
“I am only having fun with everybody,” Knoll said, implying she had declined those opportunities.
“I suppose people like me because I am good looking. I am not interested in meeting with anybody here. My intention is to make people smile, that is all.”