By Adam Wenger
The World Cup. It’s a battle of beautiful attrition. A tournament that’s filled with surreal passes (think: Cristiano Ronaldo), stunning goals, improbable comebacks, and of course, incredible hair. From Ronaldo’s perfectly gelled, fresh off the cover of GQ ‘do to Brazil’s bleached tips, this World Cup is filled with remarkable hair so it’s only fair that we hand out the appropriate superlatives.
Best Overall Team Hair – Brazil
If the home team fails to live up to its expectations and win the World Cup, its players can always look in the mirror for a consolation prize. There’s superstar Neymar with his hedgehog-like mane, David Luis doing his best Sideshow Bob, Fred and his slightly creepy mustache, and Willian and Marcello’s wonderful afros.
Best White Guy Dreadlocks – Kyle Beckerman, USA
The American appears to have trouble sitting in a chair properly, but he looks damn good in dreads.
Most Likely To Pass For A Younger Justin Bieber – Pretty Much Every Player, South Korea
Remember when all the cool kids used to ask the barber for “The Bieber” cut? I don’t either. But for whatever reason, nearly every member of South Korea’s World Cup team has windswept, product-free hair that looks strikingly similar to Bieber’s old ‘do.
Best Mohawk – Asamoah Gyan, Ghana
Ghana lost to the US and didn’t make it to the knockout round, but captain Asamoah Gyan’s Mohawk is a definite winner. It’s almost as great as his music video.
Best Freddie Mercury impersonation – Fred, Brazil
There’s a serious shortage of mustaches at the World Cup. Thankfully, Fred — that’s his full name — came through. He’s like the Prince of mustachioed Brazilian soccer stars.
Best Gelled – Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo’s evolution. pic.twitter.com/XYTOh0JYAI
— Shanta Ronaldo (@RealMadridxCR7) June 30, 2014
One of the greatest players of all time, Ronaldo works magic with his feet. He also works magic with his hair, which somehow stays perfectly sculpted throughout each match.
Most Likely To Terrify Your Grandmother – Raul Meireles, Portugal
The only thing grandmothers enjoy more than newspaper clippings and soft boiled eggs is a well groomed man. Mohawks, tattoos and beards don’t usually fly. Which is to say, yours probably wouldn’t rush to invite this guy over to play cards if they met in a dark alley.
Best Bleached Tips – Dani Alves, Brazil
idk why but I’m liking dani alves’ new look pic.twitter.com/QGYKZlHgtx
— meatloaf_7 (@mgodforlife_7) June 23, 2014
“I’m going to make bleached hair cool again!” said no one, ever. But give full credit to Dani Alves for trying. Apparently he went blonde to look more like
Sugar Ray circa 1997 teammate Neymar.
Best Bald Goalie With A Beard – Tim Howard, USA
To be fair, Howard didn’t have much competition. Algerian goalie Mais Mbolhi is also bald and bearded, but Mbholhi’s facial hair pales in comparison to the grisly beard Howard has grown. If the Algerian doesn’t shave until the 2018 World Cup, we’ll consider him for the award next time around.
Best Mane – Andrea Pirlo, Italy
Pirlo is an Italian legend with a magical mane. He’s like a cross between Hans Gruber from Die Hard and Chuck Norris. What’s not to love?
Best Individual Performance On An Otherwise Dull Team – Mario Bolotelli, Italy
For a nation that’s brought us Ferrari, Lamborghini and Versace, you’d expect more flamboyant hair from the Italians. Alas, the team is pretty dull, save for Mario Balotelli’s impossible to miss ‘do. Part Mohawk, part Chia Pet, and fully magnificent, Super Mario’s hair was the only thing worth watching as the Italian team limped its way out of the World Cup, scoring just two goals in three games.
Best Hedgehog Impersonation – Neymar, Brazil