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The Euros 2024 - Hair Winners and Losers

The Euros 2024 - Hair Winners and Losers

As the domestic season draws to a close, as always, there will be mixed emotions. There will be those who will breathe a sigh of relief as their friends/partners/loved ones are able to focus on other areas of their lives that have been tossed to one side as a title race or relegation battle takes centre stage. Then there will be those who will start to panic as the notion of weeks on end with no football becomes a sudden reality.

If you are one of the latter then fear not, for this Summer there’s a further month window where the beautiful game can take over your life once more. 

Yes, that’s right, it’s FOUR YEARS since Gareth Southgate’s England marched their way to a first tournament final in over half a century before being defeated on home soil by a characteristically solid and persistent Italy side. 

As the teams step onto the turf from mid June, it will mark a welcome return to warm weather international tournaments after a much-maligned first Winter World Cup in Qatar some eighteen months prior. 

As is customary, England are hotly tipped as one of the pre tournament favourites (will we never learn?!) alongside World Cup runners-up France and a young and dynamic German side playing in their own backyard.

Rather than attempt some ill-advised punditry to predict who we think will stand victorious in Berlin on 14th July, we’ll stick to something we’re more advised to pass judgement upon - the hair. Here we take a look at some of the best and worst barnets on show at Euro 2024. 

Jude Bellingham (England)

You cannot fail to be impressed by Jude Bellingham. Leaving his hometown side Birmingham City at the tender age of sixteen, he headed to Germany to ply his trade for Dortmund, a side renowned for nurturing young talent. 

Perhaps predictably, he excelled in the Bundesliga, becoming one of his side’s - and the league’s - most consistent performers in midfield, culminating in winning the Player of the Year award. He then starred for England at the 2022 World Cup, looking incredibly assured and composed for such a young player. 

2023 saw Bellingham join the third team of his flourishing career as he followed in the footsteps of greats such as Ronaldo and Zidane by pulling on the famous white shirt of the most successful clubs in European football history, Real Madrid. All of this and still only just out of his teens!

Almost as impressive as his football achievements to date is Jude’s immaculate thatch. Never is there a hair out of place in his crisp taper fade. Is there anything this man can’t do? Win the Euros for England and he will have completed more milestones in four years than many legends have done over their long and distinguished careers, and who would bet against him?

Toni Kroos (Germany) 

A player at the other end of his footballing journey is veteran German midfielder Toni Kroos. 

Kroos announced the end of his incredible playing career upon picking up his seventh (yes, seventh!) domestic league title alongside young pretender Bellingham in Madrid. These go alongside five (potentially six) Champions League winners medals and (drumroll please) a World Cup. Rarely will there ever be a more successful footballer. 

The brilliance of Kroos lies in his unique football brain, which he has repeatedly used to unlock opposition teams in a seemingly effortless fashion. Team this with a strong work ethic and a relentless winning mentality and it’s no surprise that he has reached such lofty heights. 

There is one single aspect of the great maestro which doesn’t quite match his footballing qualities though - his hair. I mean, nobody is perfect, right?

For many a trophy-laden season he has opted for an inexplicably high and hard parting which results in a horribly unflattering rounded shape and a large flap of disconnected, brush-like, poker straight hair which requires a shed load of wet look gel to stay in place. Not for us. 

Federico Chiesa (Italy) 

Italy has a long and successful international footballing heritage. The current European champions also boast four World Cup wins and a further Euro’s to their name. Unsurprisingly, this also means they’ve had some of the greatest players in the modern game - Maldini, Del Piero, Baggio, Pirlo… The list goes on.

Sure, All of these players shared sublime footballing ability, but they also write their names into footballing folklore for another reason; fantastic hair. 

This year’s crop of players maybe don’t have the luscious locks of the aforementioned, but there’s still some solid trims in there. One such ‘do is that of tricky Juve winger Federico Chiesa, who performed superbly at the previous tournament.

It shuns the recent footballer trend for high and tight fades, frosted tips and surgically sharp hairlines in favour of a classic short, back and sides. Cut with scissors throughout with enough length to sweep back in a loose part, it’s almost as satisfying a well fitted linen shirt, a cold glass of trebbiano and a view of Lake Como. 

Phil Foden (England)

Look, we know it’s almost a crime to speak ill of an England player appearing at an international tournament prior to us putting in our first disappointing performance. 

The fact that we expect; neigh insist upon; perfection from our stars prior to every major competition is as as cut and dried as our constant surprise at crap weather and our inability to keep trains running on time. However, sadly, we have to break tradition this time. 

Phil Foden is a fantastic player who is at the peak of his powers. The fact that he looks like a shining light in a Manchester City side packed with more talent than the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is as astonishing as the fact that he’s the one star player that hasn’t arrived at The Etihad Stadium from some far flung land for gazillions of pounds.

The lad can do it all - dribble, shoot, pass, score - he has all of the attributes to be one of England’s greats. But alas, there is one chink in his armour. Yes, you guessed it, it’s his shocking lid. 

The bluntest of blunt fringes is where the main damage is done, but to make matters worse it is then often teamed with some form of hair tattoo or jazzy line. In all fairness the craftsmanship of the trim is good, but that doesn’t stop it from having all the hallmarks of a kid who’s been banned from the local shopping centre for nabbing pick ’n mix.


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