10 of the worst hairstyles in football

Saudi Arabian sportsmen have been banned from eccentric hairstyles. Maybe the rest of the world should follow suit.

Meryl D'Souza April 11, 2016

Last week, Saudi Arabia's sports authorities took the unusual step of banning hairstyles for footballers that were deemed to be 'anti-Islamic'. 

They meant it too. Just a few days later, Al Shabab goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah was forced to have his mohawk hacked off, just seconds before kick off. Watch the video below. 

Saudi's sports authorities have dubbed the rise in ridiculous lids as the ‘qazaa phenomenon’, meaning eccentric hairstyles. But it's a style problem that is not just affecting Middle East or Muslim footballers.

Only last weekend, Samir Nasri rolled back the years with a coiffure that would make NSYNC-era Justin Timberlake proud, and if you watch football closely, you’ll notice that for every stellar Giroud-like haircut, there’s an atrocious Gervinho style that basically look like there’s a spider growing on the side of their head. 

Seriously guys, you earn more than $50,000 a week, get to a proper barber and have those things fixed. If not, we’re hoping FIFA pulls a Saudi Arabia and starts shaving player's heads before games.

Here are 10 of the worst culprits: 

Samir Nasri

Someone show the Frenchman a calendar. It’s not the 1990s. The NSYNC and Backstreet Boys auditions were done decades ago.

Paul Pogba

You’d think this is the lowest point in the Frenchman’s hair crimes but you’d be wrong. When you’ve sported leopard prints, stars and musical notes in the past, a Pokéball just seems like a natural progression.

Raheem Sterling and Gervinho

It’s basically the same look. Where Gervinho looks like he’s sprouting a giant spider out of his head, the former Liverpool winger’s hair could double up as a mop for your floor.


He took the world by storm at the 2002 Korea-Japan FIFA World Cup, scoring 8 goals to seal a fifth World Cup for Brazil, winning the Golden Boot and equalling Pelé’s record of 12 career World Cup goals. All while looking like a man who’d forgotten his toupée back at home.

Manuel Cange

Trying to emulate Ronaldo, this Angolan defender sported the front tuft hairstyle for the 2006 World Cup. But then he went a horrific step further and dreadlocked. Making it look like he had worms growing out of his head. At least now you know why they call him Loco.

Taribo West

The Nigerian defender was a journeyman throughout his playing career. And yet, nobody from the 11 clubs he played for told him just how insane it is to grow palm trees on your head.

Bacary Sagna

He may be sporting the faded buzz cut now, but for the longest time, the French right-back bravely (and proudly) wore the parted-braids-with-frosty-tips hairdo.

Carlos Valderrama

The most famous player in Colombian history is less remembered for leading his national team to three World Cup appearances than for his Sideshow Bob-like perm.

Rigobert Song

The Cameroon legend holds the record for being the youngest player to be sent off at a World Cup (1994, at age 17). It’s only fitting then that the crazy athlete sport an absurd hairstyle that could have been worn by Paris Hilton and Bob Marley’s love-child.

Romania 1998 world cup team

Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?