They say hair and clothes make the man, when it comes to the FIFA World Cup, having the right hairstyle could be iconic. From Diego Maradona’s shaggy style in 1982 to Alexi Lalas’s iconic grunge style in 1994.
The World Cup is known for amazing goals, matches, and national heroes, the spotlight is on everyone and today everyone wants to look their best. From afros to ponytails to fades, having the right cut could start a fad or be a picture that will circle the world forever.
Here are 25 iconic hairstyles that graced the FIFA World Cup, some are winners, others are misses, but one thing is for certain they are all legendary!
Chris Waddle - 1990
The England midfielder sported a terrible mullet, basically the 1990 World Cup was full of horrible mullets, look at the USMNT team photos, but Waddle took the cake. Nonetheless Waddle was one of the main players of England’s semifinal run.
Claudio Caniggia - 1994
Argentine forward Claudio Caniggia sported a rock star look in the 1990 World Cup. Caniggia would virtually look the same in 1994 and then in 2002. Known for his speed and deadly finishing, Caniggia still looks the part today.
Cho Hyun-woo - 2018
By the 2018 World Cup everyone is trying to out-do themselves in the hair department, but South Korean goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo wowed fans all over the world with his chestnut brown hair.
Tony Meola - 1994
The USMNT goalkeeper was playing in his second World Cup and sported one of the most iconic ponytails in World Cup history. Meola gained instant fame across the country and kept the ponytail look into the middle of the MLS season in 1996.
Samuel Eto'o - 2014
Samuel Eto'o had a split head haircut during Brazil 2014, the former Barcelona striker looked the part playing for Cameroon in that tournament.
Marouane Fellaini - 2018
Belgian international Marouane Fellaini sported a more modern afro with curls in Russia 2018. The former Manchester United player has always had a nice fro on his head.
Entire Romanian team in 1998
Everyone on the Romanian national team in France 98 sported dyed blonde hair. It was a way of showing team unity but with the yellow jerseys it was an eye sore to watch on TV. Still a classy move… We guess.
Cobi Jones - 1994
Dreadlocks were in during the 90’s, especially in the summer of 1994. Cobi Jones looked great in his dreads that became a trademark of the player for half of his career. Cobi is the USMNT’s all-time capped leader.
Taribo West - 1998
Taribo West was one of the best players on the Nigerian national team and Inter Milan, during the 98 World Cup he upped the dread game by placing green beads in his hair to homage his national team.
Carlos Valderrama - 1990 - 1998
For three World Cups the Colombian playmaker sported the best afro in soccer history. Carlos Valderrama was as silky as they come on the pitch, not known for his running but rather his vision and pace.
Arturo Vidal - 2014
Chile’s Arturo Vidal has always been known for wild haircuts and nights on the town. In 2014 he sported a strange mohawk haircut out of Gremlins 2.
Bora Milutinović - 1986 - 2002
The Serbian soccer coach Bora Milutinović was able to coach five different teams at five different World Cups, Mexico, Costa Rica, USA, Nigeria, and China. Despite that accolade, Bora always looked like he got out of bed and just went to the stadium, in 2002 he actually sported broken glasses.
Clint Mathis - 2002
One of the worst hairstyles in World Cup history belongs to Clint Mathis who sported an out-of-date mohawk for the tournament. Mathis would score a critical goal against South Korea and sport the look into the quarterfinals.
Asamoah Gyan - 2014
Asamoah Gyan sported his number on his jersey and then on his head as he had the number 3 dyed blonde on his fade. The Ghana superstar is among the worst ideas for a World Cup hairstyle ever.
Sergio Goycochea - 1990
The World Cup’s most iconic crewcut, Sergio Goycochea was a distant second choice goalkeeper when Nery Pumpido broke his leg during Argentina’s second match. In came Goyco, with very little fame at the time, and he became a national hero with his penalty kick saves and movie star look.
Jairzinho - 1974
It was the 70’s and the ‘fro’ was in. Right winger Jairzinho sported an excellent afro for the 74 World Cup. The Brazilian legend played 81 times for the national team netting 33 goals.
Franz Beckenbauer - 1974
One of the greatest defenders of all time, Franz Beckenbauer’s syle simply oozed 1970s, the German defender won two major titles with his national team during that run, he would eventually take his skill to New York to play with the Cosmos.
Lionel Messi - 2018
Maybe it was the beard, but Lionel Messi’s 2018 look is iconic for that stylish businessman look best suited for the boardroom than the soccer field. Too bad it wasn’t for that long, Argentina was a dreadful team in 2018, eliminated by France in the second round.
Roberto Baggio - 1994
The divine ponytail, the look Roberto Baggio sported in 1994 is iconic, as the best Italian soccer player of his generation pushed and led Italy to the final. Unfortunately, Baggio’s outstanding World Cup would be tainted by the missed penalty kick in the final.
Neymar - 2014
Neymar should win a prize all on his own for worst hairstyles ever, in 2014 his blonde look took the cake. Neymar will certainly have an even stranger look for 2022 but still, hard to top this haircut that made everyone gag.
David Beckham - 2002
At the height of his fame, David Beckham sported a spiky hairstyle for the 2002 cup. Beckham stole all the headlines and photos of his national team and got one back on Argentina scoring the game winning PK in their first-round match.
Cristiano Ronaldo - 2014
Cristiano Ronaldo sported a zig zag fade in his hair during the 2014 World Cup, the reason? It was a homage to a child that had survived a brain surgery. The zig zag were the stiches the boy needed post-surgery.
Diego Maradona - 1982
For all his flamboyance on and off the pitch Diego played with short hair in 1986, 1990, and 1994. His most rebellious look was in his first World Cup in 1982. He also sported a typical 1980’s beard, it was Diego’s most shaggy look during his playing days.
Alexi Lalas - 1994
No haircut was more symbolic than Alexi Lalas’s look in the 1994 World Cup, the poster boy for the 90s look that was still grunge. Alexi would later take that same style with him to Italy’s Serie A where he was a sensation on and off the pitch.
Ronaldo - 2002
Ronaldo was one of the best players in the 2002 World Cup and scored two goals in the final. He wins the prize for worst haircut in World Cup history. What was the goal machine thinking with this look!?