Rafael Nadal to strip off for Armani underwear.

 Rafael Nadal is set to join the Beckhams, Ronaldo and Megan Fox in promoting Armani underwear. What is it about sportsmen and underpants? From David Beckham wrapped in a rope in black Emporio Armani briefs, to Freddie Ljungberg posing with a cheeky thumb tucked in the waistband of his Calvin’s, to Linford’s lunch box, the two go together like meat and two veg.

The latest sporting legend to strip off to sell pants is world number one tennis player Rafael Nadal, who will appear as the face and, more importantly, six-pack of Giorgio Armani underwear and Armani Jeans for spring/summer 2011. Nadal has already been shot by top fashion photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot, but we won’t get to see the results until February next year. Going on Armani’s previous campaigns starring footballers David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, we can expect to see a lot of muscle flexing, moody lighting, lashings of baby oil and pants so tight they look like they’ve been sprayed on (so to speak).

Ball players have become big business for the underpants market with British retailers reporting sales increases of up to 10% when Beckham’s ads launched. Oily ‘winker’ Ronaldo’s campaign proved less popular in the UK, launching just as he left Manchester United and sashayed off to Real Madrid, but went down well abroad, scoring him a Vanity Fair cover, again in underpants, during the 2010 World Cup.


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