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The 25 Greatest Hairdos in World Cup History

by: Esteban On  Tuesday, June 17, 2014

best world cup hairdos

You can have neon shoes on your feet, diamond studs in your ears, and cute little short shorts covering your massive quads. But everyone knows you’re not a real soccer player until you have an epic hairdo. Baseball dominates facial hair, and hockey monopolizes the mullet. When it comes to all-around coiffeured excellence, however, nobody can hold a candle to soccer.

Today, with the 2014 FIFA World Cup in full swing, we’re going to take you on a little tour of the greatest hair in the history of the world’s favorite sporting event. If you think you can handle the awesomeness, then click on that arrow and we’ll get started.


25. Alexi Lalas (USA, 1998)

25 alexi lalas (usa 1998) - greatest world cup hairdos

Obviously, Alexi Lalas would have been nothing without his trademark orange goatee. However, you have to give the man’s hair its due. He used to sport some seriously Jesus-esque locks.

24. Umit Davala (Turkey, 2002)


Actually, forget the hairdo. Can we talk about the fact that the Turks put entire names on the back of jerseys? They’re like the anti-Brazilians.

23. David Beckham (England, 2002)

23 david beckham (england 2002) - greatest world cup hairdos

David Beckham always has hair that is edgy enough to be cool, but not so edgy so as to offend the suburban sensibilities of soccer moms. However, his blonde-tipped fauxhawk from 2002 was pushing it.


22. Clint Mathis (USA, 2002)

21 clint mathis (usa 2002) - greatest world cup hairdos

When Clint Mathis went with a hawk for the 2002 World Cup, there was nothing faux about it.


21. Sócrates (Brazil, 1982)

22 socrates (brazil 1982) - greatest world cup hairdos

Behold the glorious frullet (that’s fro + mullet) of Brazilian legend Sócrates. Obviously, he was one suave motherf@#%er.


20. Graeme Souness (Scotland, 1978)

20 graeme souness (scotland 1978) - greatest world cup hairdos

And speaking of Socrates, here’s a philosophical question for you: did Graeme Souness look like a 70s pornstar, or did 70s pornstars look like Graeme Souness?


19. Rigobert Song (Cameroon, 2002)

19 ribobert song (cameroon 2002) - greatest world cup hairdos

Corn rows made out of bleached dreadlocks? Now that’s an original look.


18. Paul Breitner (West Germany, 1974)

18 paul breitner der afro (germany 1974) - greatest world cup hairdos

This guy’s nickname was “Der Afro.” And yes, I’m totally serious. That is actually what people called him.


17. Claudio Caniggia (Argentina, 1994)


If you’ve ever wondered what 1989 Michael Bolton looked like when his hair dryer broke, this is it.


16. Jairzinho (Brazil, 1970)

16 jairzinho (brazil 1970) - greatest world cup hairdos

There have been plenty of afros in soccer hairdo history, but none have been quite so perfectly orb-like as that of Jairzinho in 1970.


15. Team Romania (1998)


You youngsters out there might find this hard to believe, but around the turn of the century this was a pretty popular look among young males. (See Shady, Slim.)


14. Trifon Ivanov (Bulgaria, 1994)

14 trifon ivanov (bulgaria 1994) - greatest world cup hairdos

Trifon’s hair is great, but it would be nothing without the dead eyes and three-day scruff.


13. Tony Meola (USA, 1990)

13 tony meola (usa 1990) - greatest world cup hairdos

When the USA returned to the World Cup in 1990 for the first time in 40 years, MLS legend Tony Meola was business in the front, party in the back.


12. Tony Meola (USA, 1994)

12 tony meola (usa 1994) - greatest world cup hairdos

Four years later, when the USA hosted the World Cup in 1994, Meola had developed a more sophisticated, Steven Segal look.


11. Yordan Letchkov (Bulgaria, 1994)


And speaking of 1994…Yordan Letchkov, the hero of Bulgaria’s shocking upset of Brazil in the quarterfinals, could not have headed home the winning goal if not for that little tuft of hair on his otherwise bare forehead.


10. Ruud Gullit (Netherlands, 1990)

10 ruud gullit (netherlands 1990) - greatest world cup hairdos

This former Ballon d’Or winner was almost as famous for trademark locks as he was for his playing abilities.


9. Chris Waddle (England, 1990)

9 chris waddle (england 1990) - greatest world cup hairdos

Sweet Jesus that’s a breathtaking mullet. Waddle was obviously a huge Andre Agassi fan.


8. Rene Higuita (Colombia, 1990)

8 rene higuita (colombia 1990) - greatest world cup hairdos

It should really come as no surprise that the badass dude who invented the scorpion kick also had a love of permullets (that’s perm + mullet) and Cosby sweaters.


7. Rudi Voller (West Germany, 1990)

7 rudi voller (west germany 1990) - greatest world cup hairdos

Speaking of the permullet, though it is a the same genus of mullet as the frullet, the two are not to be confused. Whereas the frullet (again, thats fro + mullet) is all about volume, the permullet, as you can see here, is all about tight curls.


6. Carlos Valderrama (Colombia, 1994)

6 carlos valderrama (colombia 1994) - greatest world cup hairdos

Then there is Carlos Valderamma. Hair taxonomists have been studying his coif for years but have been unable to classify it.


5. Bobby Charlton (England, 1970)


This is former England international Bobby Charlton, who was obviously the inspiration behind Bill Murray’s iconic Ernie McCracken.


4. Roberto Baggio (Italy, 1994)

4 roberto baggio (italy 1994) - greatest world cup hairdos

Braided rattail mullet? Roberto Baggio (the goat of the 1994 World Cup Finals) couldn’t decide which eurotrash hairstyle to get, so he got them all.


3. Ronaldo (Brazil, 2002)

3 ronaldo (brazil 2002) - greatest world cup hairdos

In fairness, Ronaldo’s ridiculous forehead mustache did distract from his ginormous chipmunk teeth.


2. Taribo West (Nigeria, 1998)

2 taribo west (nigeria 1998) - greatest world cup hairdos

Imagine the instructions Taribo West gave to his barber.

“Okay, so, I basically want you to shave my whole head, except this little patch back here on the crown of my skull. That I want you to braid with some neon green string, then tie up into little pigtails. Cool?”


1. Jose Perlaza (Ecuador, 2006)


If Jose here had just gone with the army mullet (that’s buzz cut on top, mullet in back) he still would have made this list. However, what propelled him to the top spot was his attention to detail—namely, those amazing little curly strands right there at the top of his forehead. They’re just exquisite.