We’re all stuck inside with increasingly unruly hair right now and if you’re anything like the team at The Set Pieces, your carefully preened style is starting to disappear by the day.
But for some of our favourite footballers, social distancing wasn’t the catalyst for their dodgy dos. In fact, they seemed to sport some pretty shocking styles long before any of this started.
So we’ve put our heads together (heads, geddit?) with ex-Luton Town midfielder – and now barber shop owner – James Dance to come up with our best, er, worst cuts that you shouldn’t be considering any time soon.
Dance knows what it takes to look good on the pitch, not just because of his two careers. The 33-year-old regularly spruces up the barnets of former team-mates and has also taken bookings from Premier League players and managers, including Joe Cole and Garry Monk, in the past.
To make sure we weren’t missing any terrible hair styles that should have made our list, we through the question out to our Twitter and Instagram followers to gather some more shockers. And here’s our definitive list.
Roberto Baggio – The Divine Ponytail
First up, it’s ’90s icon Roberto Baggio who earned a nickname for his do. But Dance has got some serious questions about why Baggio turned to a bobble for his look rather than just let his hair hang loose.
“He’s known as The Divine Ponytail, but he’s not fooling me – it’s a closet mullet,” says Dance. “I’d love to know what made Baggio choose between showing off his locks and tying a tail”
Phil Neville – The highlights
Managers are used to stick, especially when they’re taking on a national team job. But it’s Phil Neville’s barnet from 15 years ago that’s got the former Manchester United full back in Dance’s, er, crosshairs. His message to P Nev is pretty simple.
“My rule is DO NOT get creative with colour. If the wife tells you it’ll look good and she’s seen the hairdresser do it enough times to know how to do it, don’t let her. Phil looked like Joe Exotic when he signed for Everton!”
Taribo West – The DIY style
Nigerian defender (and Championship Manager legend) Taribo West rocked a distinctive look, and The Set Pieces team is split about whether he truly deserves to be outed for it being a truly bad do. However, since his name came up on social media too, maybe we should question our own fashion sense as well.
It’s West’s designs in his hair that have caught Dance’s attention. He says: “Taribo West looks like he knew what was going to happen because some of his designs are the same shape as virus particles.”
Luka Modric – The schoolboy
He may have won the 2018 Ballon d’Or but Luka Modric won’t be picking up any style awards, says our barber. In the Croatian’s defence, perhaps he’s been spending more time focusing on becoming a pass master and dictating play, than perfecting his look in the mirror.
“Did he cut his own hair?” Dance asks. “It certainly looks like it. He looks more like a schoolboy than a football superstar. This look shouldn’t be inspiring anyone during lockdown”
Arturo Vidal – The Lockdown Mohawk
A man who’s sported the lockdown mohawk before it was even a thing, Barcelona maestro Arturo Vidal isn’t immune to our barber’s ire. Dance is concerned for the Chilean’s style during the current crisis and hopes the midfielder hasn’t decided to maintain his look by picking up the clippers himself.
“I wonder what his hair DIY is like now,” muses Dance. “DIY patterns are a no go, so I hope he’s opted for a buzz cut. If not, it’ll be worth watching out for when football resumes because it might look like Barcelona have a new player running around at the Camp Nou.”
Mike Werner – The Double Whammy
It’s quite possible that Hansa Rostock’s Mike Werner deserves to be nominated more than once for what he cultivated on his head. If the German’s long hair wasn’t enough to warrant some attention from the style police, we’re pretty sure the spiky highlights look that grew on the top of his head was.
Werner spent most of his career at Hansa Rostock throughout the 90s, where a quick Google search reveals some of his team-mates were also partial to experimenting with the long-haired look. This hair cut was sent in by Lewis Greenslade and while we were impressed by the nomination, we didn’t share it with Dance – we fear it might have been the end of him.
Neymar – The Man of a Million Styles
One Instagram follower (the curiously named Unterwasser Alte Hex) simply told us that Neymar deserved to join our hall of fame – and a quick look through his back catalogue of dos probably explains why. The Brazilian has probably broken all of Dance’s rules of what not do with your mop over the years, although that probably goes to show quite how prolific the PSG forward’s barber is.
Neymar has gone for pink hair, a white-bleach effort and a frankly bizarre mullet-mohawk combo in the past. To cut him some slack, though, he has had a couple of decent cuts too – most notably, a cool dreadlock look. See, credit where it’s due.
Bobby Charlton – The Cover-up
Now, it must be said that we’re a huge fan of Bobby Charlton at The Set Pieces. Who isn’t? However, the England World Cup winner came up on a couple of occasions when we put out a call for the worst hair cuts on social media. We don’t know whether we can call it a cut or if it feels right to highlight people’s problems with male pattern baldness, but we’ve decided to include Bobby in our list since the fans appeared to want that to happen. Sorry, Bobby!