updated 7 Jun 2012, 12:07
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Sports Illustrated cover suits model Bar Refaeli

Refaeli, who in the past has been linked romantically to film star DiCaprio, is pictured in a string bikini by Missoni carefully pulling one of the thin straps down her hip.

She is the first Israeli model to dress down for the cover of the swimsuit issue, which hit newsstands Tuesday and will reach a global audience of some 66 million readers. Web page views could hit 350 million, according to Sports Illustrated.

Now, that's exposure.

The cover of the SI swimsuit issue has long been a coveted spot for models looking for global celebrity and superstardom. Refaeli has been featured inside the issue for three years.

Her photo shoot took place on Canouan Island in the Caribbean but the issue goes to seven other countries for pictures including Italy, Turkey and Mexico.

The issue features over 83 bikinis modeled by more than 30 professionals and sports stars including tennis players Tatiana Golovin and Maria Kirilenko.

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