Soccer’s golden age of beards
You’ve never had it so bearded. When it comes to growing cool styles on the pitch, we’re living the best of times – here are the players blazing a trail for football’s finest beards
The 1970s may have been the age of big grizzly beards for footballers, and the 1980s were the time of bleached roots and perms, but after that there was a drought of cool beards on the pitch. Well, those days are gone. Soccer players today are rocking a fierce variety of styles, unafraid to experiment and blaze a trail of individuality. We’ve picked the five key ambassadors for football beards right now…
Now playing for the New York Red Bulls, the French football legend has capped his career with an incredible bearded comeback on loan to Arsenal. His return to the team that made his career saw him score on his fifth touch – a clear case of the lucky beard making him man of the match.
Becks has been seen with just about every style you can think of – but we reckon that his latest outing is probably the finest. It’s three beards in one: the sideburns, ‘tache and goatee could all exist independently, such is their delicately trimmed craftsmanship. In one package they’re unstoppable. They’d even make you forgive the inappropriate Mohicans over the years.
The French international star wears his beard with pride – balancing his perfectly shiny head with a neat and sculpted full beard that never strays into scruffiness. It’s a grown-up look that says this lofty player is not to be messed with – and the Mr T comparisons are inevitable.
The ex-Arsenal player likes to flirt with beardedness – one day he’ll be sporting a well-groomed stubbly look, while the next training session you’ll see him with a carved and trimmed beard. Here you see Pires with the full-grown look that’s perfect for training – and perhaps if he returns for a spell at Arsenal he’ll bring the same beard-based luck as old teammate Thierry Henry.
Barcelona forward Fabregas has exactly the right tone of hair colour to grow a short beard: with only a few days’ growth, the suggestion of a bushy moustache is already there. Being thrust in the footballing limelight from a young age – he was Arsenal’s youngest ever first team player at 16 – he’s flirted with some typically weird hairstyles, but it’s only now with bearded maturity that he can finally frame his look.