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Strange hairstyles of 2000s footballers

Mèches, pigtails, doublet cuts the football pitches have put up with everything over time

Strange hairstyles of 2000s footballers  Mèches, pigtails, doublet cuts the football pitches have put up with everything over time

In these weeks between Milan and Paris, with the return of the long-awaited fashion week, the aesthetics of the 2000s have made a comeback in some places. In Milan, in particular, the Fendace collection (Fendi and Versace) and in Paris MIU MIU's collection have drawn attention to glitter and all the kitsch that the glorious 2000s brought with them. In those years, thanks to the explosion of pay-TV, and football starting to be played from the comfort of home, footballers began to take greater care of their image, which from then on became a fundamental aspect for every professional. The American journalist Roger Bennett summed up the aesthetics of those years perfectly in one sentence, highlighting the role of a footballer who, more than anyone else, broke every mould, redefining, if you like, the role of footballer as image man: David Beckham.  

"Before Beckham, footballers were adored by men in their 40s who also liked dog racing and Rugby League."

In fact, before the 2000s when aesthetics were largely redefined, footballers, their image and specifically their hairstyles were chaotic, messy and rather undefined, aligned with the music genre that ruled the charts around the world in the 90s: rock. From the advent of Beckham onwards, before the influencers, before the hairdressers, their reels and their innovative cuts, it was the footballers who set the trends with their strange hairstyles and dubious colours. There are haircuts that have gone down in history, such as Ronaldo's in the 2002 World Cup final, when the Brazilian's buzzcut tormented barbers around the world for months on end, and they ended up endlessly reproducing that strange triangle. Nowadays, despite the fact that the image of every professional is even more carefully crafted, footballers are no longer able to dictate new trends as they used to, repoing some of the most iconic looks from the past.


Ronaldo with his buzzcut has interrupted or rather put a long pause to a trend that seemed unstoppable in the 2000s, that of the mullet. Still very popular in Argentina, the mullet was particularly in vogue in the 1980s, with footballers such as Fernando Torres, Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and many others helping to bring it back into vogue in 2000. In popular jargon it is nicknamed "the mop" and the hair had to be strictly short in front and on the sides and longer from the nape of the neck down.

Oxygenated hair

Another real trend from the 2000s, but still relevant today with the looks that Phil Foden and Granit Xhaka sported this summer at EURO 2020 or Messi a few years ago, is bleached hair. In the early years it was more of an obsession than a trend, and it is impossible to forget when the entire Romanian national team bleached their hair before the game during the 1998 World Cup in the summer. But the leader of this movement, if we can call it that, is one and only one and he answers to the name of: Paul Gascoigne. "Gazza" for the most romantic ones had a unique personality, something impossible to find in any footballer of today, the Englishman didn't even follow a fashion or a precise style, he was simply more than known for his moments of madness, on and off the field.

Long hair

In the 2000s, it was impossible not to associate Baggio with his ponytail or long hair with players such as players like: Crespo, Batistuta, Totti, Vieri, Del Piero and even Mexes, who over the years has created several variations and even added streaks. For years, all these players have nurtured the unhealthy belief that a striker, in order to be prolific, should only wear them that way. Long, but not untidy, and kept exclusively backwards with the help of the elasticated band that became a real must-have in those years. Today there are footballers who have gone even further, such as Allan Saint-Maximin, who has replaced the thin, practical ties with thicker ones from big brands such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton


But the trends didn't end there. Football pitches have been subjected to all sorts of things, and the creativity of footballers has never run out even when the end seemed near. Beckham's cornrows in 2003 blew the lid off, and many have revived them over the years, but there are also those who wore them before the English footballer. One of the most iconic hairstyles was Ronaldinho, whose long hair had them several times. Taribo West's bright green hairstyles, which contrasted with the black and blue jersey, have remained in everyone's memory. Not only them, even Ronaldo had time to try this hairstyle at the end of his career, but nowadays many players still have them such as Laxalt, Neymar and Zapata but only for a short period, Gervinho and many others.


Impossible not to associate Hamsik with the crest he has had since his debut in the Brescia camp, this is another iconic hairstyle that the football fields have had to see and endure. From Radja Nainggolan who had all kinds of crests, from the simplest to the most varied to Fredrik Ljungberg who loved to turn up before matches with Arsenal with his purple crest. But over the years it has hardly ever left the field, another modern representative of this movement was undoubtedly Stephan El Shaarawy who still proudly wears a slightly softer mohawk than in the past, fortunately, we might add.

Footballers and hair have always been an inseparable pair that over the years has set various trends, inspiring generations and in some cases even ruining the hair of thousands of people. Footballers have treated their hair like a blank canvas, where something innovative can be created to move or draw attention to it, as in the case of Ronaldo in 2002, or to establish themselves as a style icon, an operation which has not always been successful. But the aesthetics of the 2000s, as demonstrated by the recent Blue Marine fashion show in Milan and the latest collections by Prada and Dolce&Gabbana, are making a strong comeback, in some cases however, we hope not to see them on the playing field.