World Cup 2018 madness kicks off today, with Russia facing off against Saudi Arabia for the opening game set at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium. Draws are being scoured and betting odds set. Which coach is acing it? What player’s injured?
Beauty aficionados, however, have an eye on something else: Which coifs will be pitch-perfect. Ever since David Beckham launched his capillary experiments on an enthralled public 20 years ago, soccer players have been watched as closely for their footwork as their hair.
Among the most adventurous is Marouane Fellaini, who will sport Belgium’s colors during the World Cup. In March, he starred in a photo shoot for GQ Style in which his hair, generally worn in a voluminous afro, is crafted into different looks, including one resembling Mickey Mouse ears.
Fellaini’s teammates Radja Nainggolan and Michy Batshuayi have hit the field with bold hairdos, too.
For France, there’s Paul Pogba to watch. (Think buzz cut dyed to resemble a leopard’s spots.) In March, the player appeared with a Mohawk in blue and white, nodding to his national team’s colors.
Senegal’s Sadio Mané often wears a streak of yellow running along the side of his head.
Lionel Messi’s mane is fairly tame, true, but the Argentinian’s fans reportedly go to a barber in Serbia, who can snip the player’s likeness into their hair.
No doubt soccer fever will help heat up the men’s grooming category. Already, the segment is buoyant, notching up 4.9 percent growth worldwide between 2016 and 2017 to reach 45.13 billion euros, according to Euromonitor International.