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World Cup A-Z: Dodgy barnets

20 May 2014

When it comes to playing football on the biggest stage of all, players will go to great effort to make sure they look the part for the worldwide spectacle, especially getting that last-minute haircut before boarding the plane.

Others may well go for a trim halfway through the tournament to surprise fans, journalists and the opposition, much like the Romania team at France '98.

Here's 10 of the best dodgy barnets in World Cup history...

Carlos Valderrama (1998)

This isn't actually dodgy, it's pure beauty - the perfect way to start.

Valderrama may have been towards the end of his career by the time France '98 came along, but his hair was certainly still in full flow.

By the age of 36, the Colombian captain had clearly perfected his lightly-coloured, frizzy afro, seen below in the group game against Tunisia.

Romania (1998)

This was a fine collective effort from the Romanian team at World Cup '98.

Before their 1-1 draw with Tunisia in the group stages, the whole team dyed their hair blonde after reportedly losing a bet with head coach Anghel Iordanescu, who shaved his head.

You have to feel for goalkeeper Bogdan Stelea, though, who had no hair to dye.

Alexi Lalas (1994)

Four years prior to that, at USA 1994, US defender Alexi Lalas stuck to his tried and tested method of lots and lots of hair.

Not just on his head, but all over his face too. So much hair.

David Seaman (2002)

David Seaman has had his fair share of interesting barnets, but none more so than his well-washed and conditioned ponytail for South Korea and Japan.

If being beaten from distance by Sweden's Niclas Alexandersson in the group stages wasn't evidence that his fine locks might be weighing him down, Ronaldinho certainly made it clear with a long-range lob in the quarter-finals.

Bizarrely, Seamen kept his ponytail until 2005.

Paul Breitner (1974)

It turns that out that it's not just penalties the Germans do better than the English, but hairstyles too.

Paul Breitner's fuzzy perm of the 1974 World Cup, complete with sideburns and moustache, precedes David Seaman's ponytail by 28 years and beats it by a country mile.

Taribo West (1998)

West's haircut is one of the most iconic in football, but what made it extra special was that he attached coloured braids to his head, which he changed to match the colour of the team he was representing.

In Nigeria colours then, the Championship Manager icon sported green on his head.

Graeme Souness (1978)

Competing for Scotland in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, Souness' head was almost completely taken over by hair. 

His perfectly spherical curly hair and bushy moustache worked in unison to create a very dodgy World Cup haircut.

Bacary Sagna (2010)

Bacary Sagna's blonde caterpillar look has long been seen in the Premier League with Arsenal but it was seen on the global stage when Sagna appeared for France in South Africa in 2010.

His haircut was about as successful as the French, who finished bottom of Group A.

Roberto Baggio (1994)

A fantastic player who clearly didn't get fantastic advice from his hairdresser.

Italian icon Baggio opted for short all over with dreadlocks at the back for the 1994 World Cup in his home country.

Rigobert Song (2010)

Song, who amassed 138 caps during a 17-year career with Cameroon, played in the 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010 World Cup.

You'd have thought by 2010 then, that he would know better. Instead, he opted for this appearance which looks less footballer, more wise old-man.

Ronaldo (2002)

One of the best players in World Cup history: one of the worst haircuts ever to grace the tournament.

This was truly shocking by Ronaldo in 2002, shaving his head all over apart from the front during the knock-out stages.

It didn't affect his performance, though - Ronaldo scored twice in the final as Brazil beat Germany 2-0 to win a record fifth World Cup.

Click here to see the other letters in our World Cup A to Z


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