World’s Worst Football Haircuts

By Captain Thomsen on 11 Dec 2018

An alien visitor to this planet could easily be lured into thinking that top-level football matches were unusually combative fashion shows, hosted by tripped out hairdressers. As it is, millions of terrestrial football spectators appear fated to be constantly astonished and bemused by the experimental hairdos which some of the world’s most famous football-players plant on their craniums.

Here’s our list of the top 5 football do’s that are dont’s:


David Beckham cornrows braids
David Beckham © Capitalfm

None other than football fashion icon, David Beckham, provided us with our most poignant example of why blonde white men shouldn’t flirt with traditional African hairstyles. We refer, of course, to the brief appearance of cornrows on Beckham’s constantly mutating pate.

This arrangement succeeded in making Beckham look like something evil that had escaped off the set of Star Trek, and was soon banished by Beckham (perhaps at the behest of companies wary of having their products endorsed by a Klingon).

Some have suggested that Beckham contracted the hairstyle from Manchester United teammate Rio Ferdinand.


Finding an appropriate name for the monstrosity on Ronaldo’s head during the 2002 Football World Cup was somewhat of a challenge, as it is apparently the only recorded historical instance of this haircut.

We eventually settled for the term ‘tonsure’, a word used to refer to the shaven crowns of medieval monks. We then speculated that Ronaldo’s effort to shave his head, leaving just half an oval of hair on his forehead, was an attempt to detract attention away from his teeth.

Whatever Ronaldo’s reasons for assuming this hairstyle, the end result created the impression that the best striker in the world at the time, was in fact a neolithic monk who had suffered an unfortunate run-in with a stoned shamanic hairdresser in the depths of the Amazon rainforest.


Taribo West pigtails
Taribo West © Footballs Top Ten

Whilst pigtails might be an acceptable punishment to inflict on footballers who roll around in agony after receiving a dirty look from an opposition player in the penalty area, they have no place on the head of any self-respecting international footballer.

Nigeria and AC Milan defender Taribo West thought differently, however. During a career that spanned decades, West performed his duties beneath a truly ridiculous set of miniature pigtails, each of which appeared to have been impaled with a cocktail umbrella.

The Mullet

Throughout football history mullets have gripped onto the heads of the world’s finest footballers like hillbilly demons out of a Chuck Norris nightmare. During all this time, the basic principles of this hairstyle have remained unchanged: short in front, long at back – moustache optional.

Otherwise apparently sane and decent guys, the footballers who have been afflicted by mullets include England international Chris Waddle, Liverpool striker Fernando Torres, German international Rudi Voller and, of course, Roberto Baggio, who teased his mullet into a permed ponytail.

Gel Sculptures

Some footballers wear hairstyles so bizarre that they defy crass categorisation. Virtually the only thing these creations have in common is that they require industrial quantities of super-glue strength styling gel.

Amongst the most notable gel sculptures are Abel Xavier’s peroxided dome, Japanese international Kazuyuki Toda’s impression of a mohawk in flames, David James’ lock-down fringe parting/helmet, and whatever it is that has been living on Carlos Valderrama’s head for the duration of his career.

(Alright, Valderrama’s hairstyle doesn’t appear to involve gel but it’s definitely worthy of an honourable mention).

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