In days of old, when footballers were simple sportsmen and not the millionaire malcontents they are today, their WAGs (wives and girlfriends) were likewise a completely different sort to their modern-day counterparts.
You see, dating or being married to a footballer carried no special cachet back then — even if the footballer was famous or especially talented, the salaries were modest even by standards of the time. So if one sees photos of, say, the WAGs of the English team which won the World Cup in 1966, they look like… well, like ordinary housewives:
Nowadays, of course, footballers are paid astronomical sums of money, and consequently they attract, shall we say, a different kind of woman (as seen by a companion pic of England’s 2018 national team’s WAGs):
I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with this situation — women have always been attracted to famous and wealthy men — it’s just that nowadays, the rich and famous men have a lot more choices, and therefore the quality of the goods on offer has improved.
Although I have to say that “quality”, if applied to the 2018 WAGs, is a polite euphemism. To me, most of them look like they’re off to the docks to work Fleet Week. But that’s just another factoid which helps answer the question: “Why do men play professional football?”