The Euro 2016 of Footballers’ Hair: The Champions
Alright my friends, the Euro 2016 is coming to an end, and three weeks of scrupulous (and, let’s be honest about this tournament, pretty selfless) observation of players’ hair styles have borne fruit: I am ready to proclaim the European Champions of Hair.
I care about nuance — this isn’t football, after all — so winners are declared by category. Let’s kick off (sorry) with one of this year’s signature looks:
#1 Bulkiest Mo-coiffe
Neil Taylor (Wales) 1–3 Stephan El Shaarawy (Italy)
And since we’re judging size:
#2 Most Impressive Facial Hair
Joey Ledley (Wales) 3–2 Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland)
Because this is the Euros and the most important thing is that we get to see as much of the beautiful game as possible, I’ll also give you the two highest-ranking third-place players: Daniele de Rossi (Italy) and Olivier Giroud (France).
And speaking of beards:
#3 The Khal Drogo Lookalike Contest
Jimmy Durmaz (Sweden) 2–3 Erkan Zengin (Sweden)
(Consequently, the Khal Drogo Team Award goes to Sweden.)
#4 The NSYNC Legacy Award
David Alaba (Austria) 2–3 Valon Behrami (Switzerland)
#5 Most LEGO Hair
Graziano Pellè (Italy) 3–2 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
#6 Most Windsor Hair
Ok, this is about general looks, not just hair. Still, with contestants like these, I couldn’t drop that bracket.
Eric Dier (England) 1–1 Kevin de Bruyne (Belgium)
#7 Most Picasso Hair
Paul Pogba (France) 5–2 Ivan Perišić (Croatia)
This one photo doesn’t do the creative prowess of Pogba’s hairdresser much justice. So have some more:
#8 The Sideshow Bob Award
The fact that there was only one contestant doesn’t make it any less deserving: give it up for Marouane Fellaini (Belgium).
#9 Most On-Pitch Hair Touching
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) 5–3 Sergio Ramos (Spain)
#10 Cuddliest Off-Pitch Fluffy Coiffe
Ciprian Tătăruşanu (Romania) 2–1 Amir Abrashi (Albania)
(Don’t you just want to snuggle up in bed with it?)
#11 Most Genteel Veteran’s Look
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany) 3–1 Wayne Rooney (England)
#12 Most “My WHAT? Hair?! Don’t You Know We’re At War, Young Lady?”
Gábor Király (Hungary) 3–2 Andrés Iniesta (Spain)
#13 Dopest Mohawk
Marek Hamšík (Slovakia) 3–4 Radja Nainggolan (Belgium)
Nainggolan wins this close race because, and I quote a good friend, “his is the kind of mohawk a unicorn would wear.”
#14 Fiercest Side Parting
Anthony Lopes (Portugal) 3–4 Sergio Ramos (Spain)
Judging a double side parting against a curved one is a hard task I don’t wish upon anyone. Ramos wins for elegance and ambition, but Lopes does get an extra point for apparently inspiring his teammate Ronaldo to copy his look in the semi-finals against Wales.
#15 Loneliest Island
Balázs Dzsudzsák (Hungary) 1–3 Jakob Jantscher (Austria)
#16 Manliest Man Bun
Gareth Bale (Wales) 4–4 (12–13) Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden)
This match was the only one that had to be decided on penalties, and they made Germany–Italy look like a seniors’ friendly.
Honourable mention (he never stood a chance): Marko Arnautovic (Austria).
#17 Man Bun Team Award: Sweden
#18 Overall Team Award: Slovakia
Team Award Runner-Ups: Italy
See you in two years. (Except you, Italy.)