Rio Ferdinand appeared to be paying homage to departing Manchester United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo as he took to the beach in Israel wearing denim hotpants and a cropped top.
By Anita Singh, Showbusiness Editor
Published: 4:31PM BST 16 Jun 2009
Ronaldo and Rio Ferdinand in hotpants
Ronaldo and Rio Ferdinand in hotpants Photo: BIG / SPLASH NEWS
Ronaldo's flamboyant fashion sense and penchant for sunbathing in tiny shorts have been the subject of endless jokes, most recently when he was spotted with a pink baseball cap and matching flower nestled behind his ear.
Ferdinand managed to keep a straight face as he arrived at a Tel Aviv cafe in a pair of skin tight, denim-print hotpants, accessorised with a multi-coloured cropped top which would have looked more at home on his girlfriend, Rebecca Ellison. He sat down to lunch with a group of male friends, all of whom were sensibly dressed.
Onlookers were left unsure as to whether he was poking fun at Ronaldo, wearing the clothes for a bet or genuinely possessed of the belief that hotpants are a viable fashion choice for a metrosexual man.
Ferdinand recently launched his own lifestyle magazine, offering style tips and celebrity interviews. The latest issue features West Ham's Danny Gabbidon modelling Prince of Wales check trousers.
Ronaldo, who is on his way to Real Madrid for a world-record £80 million, recently defended his fashion choices. "I don't know why people are so interested in what I wear on holiday," he said. "Men wear pink these days. OK, not many men wear flowers, but it's good to be different."