Best hair of the Euros It’s not the strongest field we’ve ever seen, but it isn’t bad
As is the case with every international soccer tournament, hair is a big part of things when it comes to how players present themselves. We’ve got some usual suspects in the 2016 UEFA European Football Championship, with a couple new twists as well. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites.
Jerome Boateng, defender, Germany
The man who’s made perhaps the best play of the tournament so far with his incredible clear off the line in Germany’s opening match against Ukraine, also happens to have a very smooth ‘do. In what I can only describe as a “conk fade,” he’s thrown in a couple racing stripes that give it a flair beyond the obvious. This is German efficiency and style at its best.
Daniel Sturridge, striker, England
He scored a thrilling goal as a sub to help England secure its first-ever win in the Euros after being down at half last Thursday, but his hair has been the subject of discussion for some time. Over the years, the Liverpool man has effective kept the curly flattop, while occasionally adding a few flourishes that felt like tributes to Michael Jackson, with the slightest touch of Jheri curl on them. It’s all forgiven though, because his dance is the best in the game.
Paul Pogba, midfield, France
Pogba is a legend in the on-field hair game, no questions asked. He’s gone with the gold-striped mohawk with side lettering, the leopard-print motif and the full peacock — he’s got it all in his arsenal. What’s he’s got for this tournament is relatively tame, all styles considered, but it still features his patented gold, along with his name on the other side, a nice touch. And by the way, as he told ESPN The Magazine, he wants to be the best ever, not just one of.
Divock Origi, striker, Belgium
The blond, faux-hawk fade certainly isn’t a style unique to American culture by way of NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. In fact, though he receives all the credit, Beckham didn’t even start the trend — but, that’s a different story. Origi has given the look a European stamp of approval with his own blond hue blended into a naturally curly mohawk (Origi has also rocked the perm in the past). Shoutout to him for telling his barber “close on the sides” to maintain the tight fade.
Éder, striker, Portugal
What’s so admirable about European soccer is that crazy styles of braids are still socially acceptable. Nowadays, you rarely see NFL players rock braids and, except for San Antonio Spur Kawhi Leonard, the NBA is no longer a home for braids, which Allen Iverson popularized in the league in the early 2000s. You can find, however, countless players like Portugal’s Éder on the pitch with braids flapping in the wind. The best part? The tire-tread designs that probably took hours to finesse.
Raheem Sterling, striker, England
Sterling’s hairdo at this year’s Euros — a high fade, grown out on the top with a side part — is pretty basic, and maybe even the least interesting on this list. But his hairstyle history? A buffet of beauty. Sterling has sported the dreads fade, the twists (word to Whoopi Goldberg) and, our personal favorite, the perm fade with the side part (word to Uncle Bobby). Keep doing your thing, Raheem. No “Make Soccer Fun Again” movement needed with that hair.
Johan Djourou, defender, Switzerland
Despite being born in the Ivory Coast, Djourou is a defender for the Swiss. Inexplicably, he chooses to keep his hair at a length most men hate. He wears his hair in a starter-dreads fade. Considering the hair choices of some other Ivory-born footballers like Drogba’s perm and Gervinho’s braids, Djourou looks pretty good rocking “The In-Between Phase.”
David Alaba, defender, Austria
Born in Vienna, Austria, Alaba is the son of a Nigerian prince, who is also a rapper and DJ. Alaba, Austria’s best player, also has the team’s best hair, rocking an Odell Beckham-esque, blond-tipped faux hawk. I can guarantee Alaba does not have hands like Beckham, but he looks good in the “Blonded Like Beckham” look.
Maroune Fellaini, midfield, Belgium
Towering over most other footballers, Fellaini is conspicuous on the pitch. Belgium’s 6-foot-4 midfielder starts matches sporting “The Foxxy Cleopatra” fluffy, blond Afro. But, by the end, perspiration pulls his hair down into the “Sideshow Bob” look, also known as the “Full Varejao.”
Lastly, let’s pay homage to the G.O.A.T. of European soccer hair: former Portuguese player, and current Mozambique national team coach, Abel Xavier.