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15 Successful Athletes Who Still Live In The Shadow Of Their WAG

No matter how successful these athletes have gotten, more people recognize their WAGs before them.

Athletes are commonly known for having drop dead gorgeous wives and girlfriends (WAGs) around their arms. More often than not, these pretty ladies live in the shadow of their male partner or spouse. They don't get a whole lot of attention aside from the debatable fact that they look good and are nothing more than eye candy for the whole world to visually check them out. So what about the reverse couples where the woman is independent with an existing career while her athlete partner or spouse is physically talented, but not quite a household name yet?

The percentage of financially successful WAGs before they met their athlete partners or spouses isn't very high, but there are some lovely women who achieved wealth, respect and/or fame for a long time. We'll take a look at such women in this interesting list. We're pretty sure you'll recognize at least a couple of these names. They range from Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Kate Upton to country singer and former 2005 American Idol winner Carrie Underwood. These are just two of the biggest names in the modern world of entertainment, so we'll suggest for you to keep scrolling through this list.

Successful women don't have to date men who share the same (or higher) amount of success they've achieved in their own lives. They're free to date whoever they want as long as it's true love. With that being said, let's take a look at 15 superstar athletes who still live in the shadow of their WAG.

15 Tristan Thompson (Khloe Kardashian)

via usmagazine.com

Did you know that Tristan Thompson was ruled out for three-plus weeks with a left calf strain on November 2, 2017? Unless if you're a big Cleveland Cavaliers fan or a Cavs-hating Golden State Warriors fan, you probably didn't know about his injury.

Thompson returned to the court on December 12, 2017. He went scoreless and had zero rebound in six minutes in a game against the Atlanta Hawks. After keeping his relationship with Khloe Kardashian quiet for a while, the couple recently revealed they'd be expecting their first child next year.

Kardashian's Kavalier isn't a household name, but Thompson might become one in the near future. Thompson should be worth $82 million in 2020 as he signed a five-year, $82 million contract in 2015. Meanwhile, Kardashian is currently worth $30 million. Whether you follow reality television shows or not, you've most likely heard of Kardashian before Thompson. Thompson didn't appear in the spotlight until he won his first NBA championship in 2016.

14 Blake Griffin (Kendall Jenner)

Via usmagazine.com

Blake Griffin is one of the Los Angeles Clippers' most popular players. Griffin is best known as a point guard, but the injury bug continues to bite him, which is an unfortunate occurrence.

Griffin and the Clippers are more known for disappointing their fans as opposed to pleasing them, but Griffin still signed a five-year, $95 million contract extension on July 10, 2012. His girlfriend, Kendall Jenner, may not be as popular as her elder Kardashian sisters, but she has amassed about $18 million. That's darn good for a 21-year-old!

Not only that, Jenner has worked for some of the most prominent fashion magazines such as Vogue, Allure and Bazaar. She also took the No. 1 spot on Forbes' Highest Paid Models List in 2017. At this rate, her income is going to increase over the next couple of years.

13 Jarret Stoll (Erin Andrews)

via pinterest.com

Jarret Stoll has had a successful hockey career which includes a couple of Stanley Cup rings with the Los Angeles Kings. Stoll will never be confused for a superstar but he wasn't exactly a passenger for the Kings' Stanley Cup runs. However, Stoll also happens to be in a relationship with the most famous female sportscaster in North America. Erin Andrews is easily the most recognizable female in the industry, as she's not only been on several sports networks, but she's also competed on Dancing With The Stars and has done some TV work outside of sports. It's interesting that Andrews ended up with an athlete whose sport isn't quite as popular in North America as the ones Andrews typically covers, but it just goes to show you how random love can be.

12 Gerard Pique (Shakira)

via en.emedemujer.com

Unless if you're a soccer fan, you've probably never heard of Gerard Pique before stumbling upon this list. Pique plays for Barcelona and the Spain national team as a defender (centre-back, to be specific). Shakira, on the other hand, is a Colombian singer and dancer who has been performing since 1990.

At the age of 40, Shakira is old as opposed to the other WAGs on this list; but she doesn't look her age at all. She has proved to us that she still got it after confirming her El Dorado World Tour on June 27, 2017. While the European and South American legs of her tour has been cancelled due to voice strain problems until 2018, it shouldn't come as a surprise because she has aged. At least she has a comfortable $220 cushion to rest on. Her husband has done well for himself too. However, $40 million is sort of like pocket change to the Colombian pop star.

11 Justin Verlander (Kate Upton)

Via themajors.net

Houston Astros right-handed pitcher Justin Verlander is now a World Series champion, but what about his early days as the Detroit Tigers' ace? Verlander was a pretty good pitcher, but his level of fame was nowhere near his model girlfriend (now wife) Kate Upton's popularity.

As you should already know, Upton is known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues. She has also appeared on the 100th anniversary Vanity Fair cover. Aside from modeling, she has additionally dabbled in acting, starring in movies like Tower Heist and The Other Woman.

Upton reportedly first met Verlander during the making of a MLB 2K12 commercial in 2012. Don't get us wrong, Verlander has had his fair share of success, but unlike Upton, he's not someone the average person would go out of their way to check out. Nonetheless, Upton's the more popular person in this union.

10 Nomar Garciaparra (Mia Hamm)

via famousfix.com

Mia Hamm is another aged WAG on this list, but she has still achieved more than her husband, SportsNet LA analyst and former MLB shortstop Normar Garciaparra, who's a six-time MLB All-Star (1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2006). Hamm is arguably a soccer icon. After all, she played for the United States women's national team from 1987 to 2004. She also won two Olympic gold medals. She played college soccer at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

While Garciaparra is worth more than Hamm, his $45 million hasn't gathered the same amount of attention like his wife. Therefore, he continues to be a sports analyst and the father of their son Garrett and twin daughters Grace and Ava.

9 Jay Cutler (Kristin Cavallari)

via theepochtimes.com

Jay Cutler and his wife Kristin Cavallari have had their fair share of ups and downs, but they've appeared to get their personal (and professional) lives back on track.

Cutler was initially drafted by the Denver Broncos with the No. 11 pick in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft and was traded to the Chicago Bears in 2009. He played eight seasons for the Bears as a quarterback, announced his retirement in 2016 and became an NFL on Fox sportscaster before coming out of retirement to sign with the Miami Dolphins in 2007.

Meanwhile, Cavallari's acting career was fairly stable with her biggest gig being Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County. It's just her on-and-off relationship with her current husband that caught the attention of fans as the couple called off her engagement in 2011. The couple married in 2013 and are now parents to three children.

Maybe Cavallari's relationship was initially unstable because she was just caught up with a life that was much more lavish than her early life.

8 Grigor Dimitrov (Nicole Scherzinger)

via youtube.com

Following an on-again, off-again relationship with Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton, Nicole Scherzinger (former Pussycat Dolls lead singer) moved onto Bulgarian tennis star Grigor Dimitrov, who is 13 years her junior. The couple have been dating since 2016.

Although Scherzinger is no longer a Pussycat Doll, she moved onto The X Factor, Dancing With The Stars and Dirty Dancing. She also released two solo albums Killer Love and Big Fat Lie. Dimitrov is the most successful Bulgarian tennis player right now, but his career hasn't exactly matched Scherzinger's extended career in music and television. Sure, Dimitrov is still young, but Scherzinger has more power in the relationship.

7 Matt Treanor (Misty May)

Via alchetron.com

You may not remember MLB catcher Matt Treanor, but you might have recognized his wife Misty May-Treanor (former beach volleyball player). Treanor didn't really have a stable career in the big leagues, as he played brief stints for the Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers. Yet, he amassed an estimated net worth of $1 million during his eight-year career. He was still getting paid.

As of 2012, May-Treanor is the most successful beach volleyball player. She picked up 112 individual championship wins in both domestic and international contests. She retired from the sport alongside fellow teammate Kerri Walsh-Jennings and was later inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame.

Without a doubt, May-Treanor is the more popular name among the well-known couple.

6 Andy Roddick (Brooklyn Decker)

via justjared.com

Remember when Andy Roddick won his first (and only) Grand Slam title at the 2003 US Open? You might've recalled that because he was one of the best tennis players in the world. He confirmed his retirement in 2012.

Roddick was a successful tennis player, but he's still in the shadow of his WAG, and it's not only because of his lone title. His wife Brooklyn Decker is a model and actress who has modeled for Sports Illustrated, Intimissimi, Victoria's Secret and The Gap. Decker is currently pregnant with the couple's second child, but she continues to make headlines on and off the internet. Roddick has had a very successful tennis career, but when the paparazzi sees the couple together, they're mostly looking for Decker.

5 Dion Phaneuf (Elisha Cuthbert)

via celebuzz.com

Dion Phaneuf has certainly been a recognizable NHL player, especially if you were paying any attention to the Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs or Ottawa Senators. Phaneuf was also a player the Senators loved to hate until he joined the team after a blockbuster deal with the Leafs.

Despite Phaneuf's two gold medals and two silver medals for Team Canada, his fame and success hasn't quite stacked up to the resume of his wife Elisha Cuthbert, a fellow Canadian who works as an actress and model. Cuthbert isn't just one of the hottest Canadian women, she's also a woman who has always gotten a gig in the acting world.

Unlike other WAGs, Cuthbert made headlines as an actress years before she was in the middle of Sean Avery's infamous sloppy seconds rant in 2008. That's the main reason why Phaneuf hasn't gotten as much attention from the general public since he got married in 2013.

4 Carmelo Anthony (LaLa Vasquez)

via latimes.com

Don't get us wrong, Carmelo Anthony is a big star in the NBA. Melo began his career with the Denver Nuggets, who selected him with the No. 3 pick in the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft. He played for the Nuggets from 2003 to 2011, honored Earl Monroe and Dick McGuire by wearing No. 7 for the New York Knicks from 2011 to 2017 and left the Knicks to join the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017.

Anthony is one of the biggest stars in the NBA, but his wife LaLa Vasquez has been working in the entertainment business since she was 15 years old. LaLa got her start at WQHT-FM 97.1 in Atlanta, Georgia, and gradually worked her way up to 92.3 The Beat in Los Angeles, Calif., and MTV. She didn't become a reality TV star until she tied the knot with Melo in 2010. That was when she made even more money.

While it's unclear what LaLa's net worth is, it's a fact that she doesn't need Melo to financially help her take care of the couple's son Kiyan.

3 Bret Hedican (Kristi Yamaguchi)

Via heavy.com

It's an obvious fact Bret Hedican is a 2006 Stanley Cup champion and two-time US Olympian unless if you're not a hockey fan. If you're not a hockey fan, don't worry because we can fill you in on the former NHL player.

Hedican seems to be enjoying a glamorous career as a pre-game and post-game analyst on NBC Sports California's coverage on San Jose Sharks games following his retirement in 2009. Hedican has a stacked resume, but his wife Kristi Yamaguchi, a former figure skater, steals the show when it comes to fame, success and money. Yamaguchi has an estimated net worth of $18 million. That's 18 times Hedican's net worth.

Maybe Hedican chose to retire because of Yamaguchi's wealth. After all, who wouldn't love to come to a cute wife and equally adorable kids most nights?

2 Brooks Laich (Julianne Hough)

Via abcnews.go.com

Brooks Laich is currently a free agent, but he most recently played for the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL. He previously played for the Washington Capitals, where he seemingly enjoyed the best years of his career. In the 2008-09 season, he played in all 82 games for the Capitals, just like the previous year. This time around, he set new career-high numbers in goals, assists and points.

Laich has never won a Stanley Cup, but he played with a team that has a lot of potential. He hasn't been winning hockey games as of late, but he's definitely winning in life with his wife Julianne Hough, who he married in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, on July 8, 2017. He's really lucky to have such a beautiful wife like Hough, who is a Dancing With The Stars judge, Miss USA host and two-time DWTS champion. The only downside to the marriage is that his wife is more famous than him.

1 Mike Fisher (Carrie Underwood)

Via theknotnews.com

What list of WAGs would be complete without Carrie Underwood?

Unlike most country singers, Underwood got her start in the world of music on American Idol. Fans voted her as the winner of season 4. Since then, she went on to become a seven-time Grammy Award winner.

Underwood, however, didn't marry a fellow country singer. She fell in love with NHL center Mike Fisher after meeting him at a meet-and-greet following one of her concerts.  They got married in 2010 and had their first child in 2015.

Fisher retired in 2017 after spending 18 years in the league. He had a career to brag about as he last served as the Nashville Predators' captain and had an estimated net worth of $30 million. Still, that doesn't compare to Underwood's $70 million.

When all is said and done, we know why the media tends to think of Fisher as Mr. Underwood instead of his full name.

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15 Successful Athletes Who Still Live In The Shadow Of Their WAG