Ranked! The 10 most iconic World Cup hairstyles of all-time

Roberto Baggio

From the fin of Becks, to the curls of Carlos, to the holiest of ponytails: Nick Moore waxes lyrical about the most memorable World Cup hairdos

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10. David Beckham (England, 2006)

Apparently every male in England had David Beckham’s haircut in the summer of 2006: even a pensioner nipping into the barber for a short back ’n’ sides would emerge with some kind of approximation of the ‘Hoxton Fin’.

Those stylists had been gripped by World Cup fever, thanks to a Becks chop that made the man himself look (as ever) like a rugged dreamboat, but left everyone else resembling a despicable blockhead emerging from a Foxton’s Mini or begging the Dragons to fund his rocket shoes.

9. Arturo Vidal (Chile, 2014)

As Jez and Mark once pondered on Peep Show, while locked in a flat foyer as a delivery man stuffed pizza through a bristled letterbox: “Does post even need brushing? Who wants brushed post?”

We’ll probably never know the answer, but Arty V, a savant of crazed stylings, decided that he’d like a ‘letter plate draught excluder’ (that’s what they’re officially called) atop his cranium ahead of the trip to Brazil. He wore it well, too.

8. Kyle Beckerman (USA, 2014)

Whether white people with dreadlocks is an example of cultural appropriation or not is a question for another day, but the fact is that the roll call of examples is pretty shameful: Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean, Mick Hucknall (let’s never forget that a bladdered Martine McCutcheon once vomited into them in a car), Newton Faulkner (shudder) and so on.

Alas, the Real Salt Lake defender’s dreadlocks never quite worked. Beckerman looked like he should be leading a bongo and puppeteering workshop in the Glastonbury Green Fields before selling low-quality marijuana to some 15-year-olds. Beckerman mercifully shaved the clumps off last year, revealing the face of Scottish tennis ace Andy Murray.

7. Paul Breitner (West Germany, 1982)

The Beatles reckoned that if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow. But the Fab Four hadn’t banked on Breitner, who was apparently an avid reader of the Chinese communist’s Little Red Book, and was almost certainly “making it” with whoever he liked.

Breiner’s barnet was a glorious fluffball, earning him the nickname Der Afro, and in ’82 he caused a kerfuffle by shaving himself for a German fragrance firm. The beard later got so bushy that his face was eventually completely encircled in follicles.

6. Chris Waddle (England, 1990)

More words have now been written about Waddle’s mullet than any other topic in football history, but it’s still worth taking a moment to bask and bathe in its visual magnificence.

With thick swathes at the top and an expertly dyed lower portion, it billowed like the tail of a carefree pony as he scampered down the left wing for the Three Lions. Gallop, my beauty!