Billions of people sit glued to their screens every time a World Cup rolls around – so it’s no wonder some footballers go to great lengths to make sure their hair is on point.
The styles this tournament are surprisingly tame but a literal lion’s mane, the colours of the American flag and a Balenciaga catwalk model with blonde-tipped braids are some of the highlights wowing – and dividing – fans.
Here’s Daily Mail Australia’s definitive guide to all of the most iconic hairstyles of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Hannibal Mejbri (Tunisia)
Tunisia and Manchester United wunderkind Hannibal Mejbri twirls his luscious locks in a pre-tournament photo shoot
The 19-year-old midfielder (pictured playing against Denmark earlier in the tournament) can either rock the afro or tame and highlight the volumous curls as he did above
When it comes to the most luscious locks at the World Cup, Mejbri has it in the bag, no contest.
Born in France to Tunisian parents, the midfielder made his senior International debut last year, and after joining Manchester United in 2019, has spent the current EPL season on loan to Birmingham City.
He’s tipped for big things in football, but he might have a career in modelling if it doesn’t pan out.
American midfielder Weston McKennie wanted to show his heart beats true for the red, white and blue of the USA flag
Charismatic 24-year-old midfielder Weston McKennie, who plays at Serie A powerhouse Juventus, is a very patriotic American – just ask his hair.
The son of a US Air Force veteran, McKennie’s iconic black curls got an eye-catching addition at the start of the tournament: red, white and blue streaks to show his heart beats true for the stars and stripes.
McKennie, pictured during the USA’s round of 16 loss to the Netherlands, added red and blue to his usual white streak through his curls
It has instantly catapulted him to the World Cup Haircut Hall of Fame, but fan reaction was mixed, with some making fun of the style and others applauding the risky choice.
The memes practically wrote themselves.
Uruguayan goalkeeper Sebastian Sosa has a mane on the top of his head, and an intricate tattoo of a lion on his scalp
Uruguay’s back-up goalkeeper Sebastian Sosa doesn’t have the heart of a lion – he has the HEAD of a lion.
The 36-year-old Independiente veteran has a literal mane above a spectacular tattoo of a male lion on his scalp, which took seven hours to be completed.
The hair is still rather spectacular from the front, with his voluminous mane gelled straight upright to form a thick mohawk of sorts.
Sosa’s brown mane sits perfectly on top of his lion tattoo
Sosa explain he got the intricate tattoo because he has ‘always liked lions’, after his hair started falling out following a battle with Covid in 2020.
‘I had coronavirus in July and at the end of August my hair started to fall out abruptly. It fell from all parts of my body. I knew it was a sequel to Covid,’ he said.
‘I only had a few left, so I decided to shave. I’ve always liked lions, that’s why I wanted to tattoo one on the back of my head.’
American star DeAndre Yedlin is well-known for trying outrageous hair styles – but this might be the craziest of them all
American defender DeAndre Yedlin is well known for trying a multitude of different hairstyles, but this might just take the cake.
You can sense the theme, with US stars clearly proud of their nation’s colours – but in this case Yedlin took it a step further by crafting in what one may gather is a glowing tribute to the Rockies, or some other American mountain range.
With bleached peroxide blonde on the top – and bizarre bracket-shaped line on the front – Yedlin then opted for mountain-like lines to be shaved into his hair. The bottom of which is fire engine red.
He also has his year of birth tattooed on his neck, just in case he ever forgets it and has a mirror handy.
It’s not so much an eye-catching hairstyle as it is a viral video involving Socceroos striker Jason Cummings enjoying a haircut and VERY physical scalp massage just a little bit too much.
‘Ohhh, give this guy a tip! Unbelievable … treatment for the big dogs,’ Cummings laughed about his barber in a video posted to the Socceroos social media pages.
The barber massaged Cummings’ scalp with his fingers, eliciting quite the response from the Socceroos star before he began to lightly knock on his skull.
‘Chopping me up, mate. Feels nice, though,’ Cummings quipped.
Socceroos star Jason Cummings favours a slicked-back style with short sides for his blonde locks
Cummings’ enjoyment of the fresh cut didn’t go unnoticed by delighted teammate Bailey Wright.
In a nod to the iconic ‘When Harry Met Sally’ movie scene starring Meg Ryan, Wright – who favours a slightly more conservative haircut – was not shy in admitting he wanted to feel exactly the way Cummings had.
‘Take my money mate, I’ll have what he’s having,’ Wright said to the barber – who is no doubt be in high demand over in Doha.
Dayne St. Clair
Canadian goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair is proud of his ringlet curls, which were given blonde tips for the World Cup
Curly-haired Canadian goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair takes his style very seriously.
‘A haircut will really change your whole perspective on life,’ he wrote on Twitter earlier this year.
Letting his curls hang proudly, St Clair’s cousin is a hair stylist, so he is often cutting and dyeing his hair different colours and shapes.
Neymar (right) and teammate Richarlison (left) sported identical new peroxide blonde haircuts for Brazil’s round of 16 win over South Korea
Brazilian superstar Neymar has always loved to experiment with a daring range of styles
He’s one of the most recognisable footballers in the world, and Brazilian sensation Neymar Junior is quite fond of experimenting with his hairstyle.
He’s had a neon pink fade, done his best Backstreet Boy impression and often had some intricate sort of design shaved – and several mohawks.
For the 2022 World Cup to start with he opted for a closely-trimmed beard and comparatively conservative fade on the sides, with cropped curls on the top splashed with a blonde tinge…but that was turned on its head (pardon the pun) in the playoffs.
Crying over a bad haircut, Neymar? The Brazilian superstar is one of the most recognisable footballers in the world, and inspires many copycat styles in children
Neymar flew his Paris-based hairdresser to Doha and asked him to bleach his hair, despite the superstar being famously superstitious.
He gave Neymar a fresh trim ahead of the game and dyed his hair before writing the following caption on Instagram.
He said: ‘The brabo with a new look for the return, go with everything brother @neymarjr #ousadia May God bless you and our national team novo’.
Did Spanish star Marcos Llorente use static electricity to inspire his World Cup hairstyle?
Fans wouldn’t be surprised if Llorente admitted saw this photo of children using a Van de Graaff generator to make their hair stand on end and used it as inspiration
Spain’s Marcos Llorente had a novel way of styling his hair for the 2022 World Cup: putting his hands on a Van de Graaff generator, and fixing with gel.
Well, probably not – but you can’t unsee it now, can you.
The midfielder’s official portrait before the tournament shows the front of his hair standing at attention roughly two inches high, and despite his obvious handsomeness, the style does him no favours.
England wunderkind Phil Foden opted for a bowl cut look akin to Jim Carrey’s iconic character in cult movie Dumb and Dumber
It’s the 2022 version of a bowl cut, with the addition of an eye-catching fade.
22-year-old Manchester City and England starlet Phil Foden has previously inspired a generation to adopt a platinum blonde buzz cut and fade, but for Qatar he opted to dye his hair jet black.
Resembling Jim Carrey’s iconic character in Dumb and Dumber, Lloyd Christmas, Foden then sat down in his mum’s kitchen as she shaved around his head while a bowl sat on top.
The haircut is probably worth hundreds of dollars, he could’ve got the same effect doing that nonetheless.
33-year-old veteran Croatian defender Domagoj Vida tucks his rockstar blonde lock behind his ear in an official World Cup portrait
Domagoj Vida is proud of his luscious, blonde locks – that’s plain to see.
The Croatian defender has copped some flak in the past for his adventurous hairstyles, but this time around has gone for the long length of a rock star.
He is married to a former Miss Croatia, so obviously he’s doing something right when it comes to style and personality.
Spanish star Nico Williams is sporting blonde-tipped dreadlocks for this tournament – but he has made a very bold bet if his country wins
Nico Williams has committed to dyeing his dreadlocks blue and white if Spain win the World Cup.
The 20-year-old Spaniard, who plays for Athletic Bilbao, has polarised fans with his blonde-tipped dreadlocks, but they might be even more confused if he dyes his hair in the ‘txuri-urdin’ (blue and white) colours of Spanish club Real Sociedad.
Colour us confused – the language barrier is too great to understand.
Real Madrid and Brazil superstar Vinicius Junior
Vinicius Junior loves a ‘fresh cut’, and the Brazilian sensation has not let his myriad of fans down.
With shaved sides and a couple of intricate details, the Real Madrid superstar opted to let his fluffy curls shine on top.
It’s nothing special, but it just makes us happy to look at. I mean look at that smile!
He likes to take care of himself, too, unashamedly.
‘I cut my hair twice a week, so that I look handsome on the television,’ he told Esporte Espetacular.
Angelo Preciado, sporting an impressive afro, has been impressive this tournament for Ecuador
Let that afro shine!
Angelo Preciado, a 24-year-old defender for Ecuador who plays for Genk in Belgium, might just have the most impressive ‘fro of the 2022 World Cup.
He has been strong for his country this tournament and many are touting at a bigger move for the talented young man.
Eduardo Camavinga has debuted blonde-tipped braids pulled back into a pony tail and shaved sides in this World Cup
Whether he is in dreadlocks or braids, French superstar Eduardo Camavinga stands out from the crowd.
The 20-year-old Real Madrid midfielder, who has been open about the heartbreaking effect of copping racial abuse, has a pretty handy relative to help him keep his impressive hair in check.
Eduardo Camavinga’s (centre) brother Sebastiao (left) is quite a handy barber, and often cuts the hair of Eduardo and his Galactico teammates
His brother Sebastiao is quite the barber, and regularly cuts Eduardo’s hair, and other Real Madrid superstars.
The blonde tips in these epic braids, which he plays with pulled into a ponytail, make this quite the fetching haircut. It’s a work of art.
He was the first footballer to walk the Balenciaga catwalk earlier this year and looked every bit the professional model.
Most iconic World Cup haircuts
1 – Ronaldo’s patch (2002)
Ronaldo sported a shaved head with a semi-circle shaped patch on the front for the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan – and it will go down in history as the most iconic of all time
It’s hard to imagine Brazilian superstar Ronaldo’s style ever being bested for the most iconic World Cup cut of all-time. He sported a completely shaved head, but made an utterly bizarre decision to keep a semi-circle shaped patch at the front. There’s a brilliant story behind it though, as Ronaldo recently revealed, saying he wanted to attention to go from his groin to his head.
He told ESPN Brazil: ‘My groin was hurting, I was only at 60%. So I shaved my head. ‘Everybody was only talking about my injury. When I arrived in training with this haircut everybody stopped talking about the injury.’
Cunning. They won the tournament that year, and Ronaldo was the golden boot, so safe to say it worked.
2 – Romanian bleach party (1998)
In 1998, every member of the Romanian team bleached their hair peroxide blonde
It’s hard to find the words to describe this. The entire Romanian team at the 1998 World Cup in France decided to bleach their hair peroxide blonde…apparently in some sort of attempt to foster team spirit and national pride. I can’t even. My eyes hurt.
3 – Taribo West’s green braids (1998)
Nigerian defender Taribo West appeared at the 1998 World Cup with fluro green braids to match the colours of his country
Taribo West’s braids were already impressive, but combine that with fluro green colouring and the style is one of the most eye-catching we’ve ever seen.
He did it to match the colour of the national team’s shirt – something he did with other club teams he played for.
4 – Roberto Baggio’s braided mullet (1994)
The braided mullet! Italian superstar Roberto Baggio kept it all business up the front with a party down the back in 1994. Baggio pulled his braids into a ponytail in an iconic cut that game at the height of the mullet era.
Italy lost the final in a shootout after Baggio sent his penalty about 100 metres wide, giving the win to Brazil. A stray mulleted braid got in his eye?
5 – David Beckham’s fauxhawk (2002)
David Beckham and his blonde mohawk in 2002 inspired a whole generation of ‘hawks
Probably still the most recognisable footballer on the planet, David Beckham inspired likely hundreds of thousands of mohawks across England after his blonde-tipped style in 2002.
Apparently Beckham’s glamorous wife Victoria (of Spice Girls fame, of course) coloured it herself with David. The media said he was more focused on his hair than his football, and after going out in the quarter-finals, maybe fans felt the same.