SportsJOE ranks the biggest and best hairstyles of Italia '90 8 years ago

SportsJOE ranks the biggest and best hairstyles of Italia '90

The 1990 World Cup marked a crossroads for footballers' hairstyles

Some were forging ahead into a brave new world that celebrated self-expression, while others remained rooted in the past, rocking styles straight out of the late seventies.


Here's our list of the tournament's best barnets:

Honourable mentions:

Toni Polster



The Austrian boasts the first, but certainly not the last, high-class mullet on the this list. We admire Polster even more for the fact that he stuck with the style for most of the next decade.

John Harkes


Americans love the work hard, play hard philosophy and Harkes is having himself some of that action. Business at the front, party at the back.


10. Pierre Littbarski


Clearly a disciple of self-grooming.

9. Roland Nilsson



The glam rock era was clearly still going strong in Sweden in 1990.

8. Chris Waddle


Twenty-five years later and we're still not sure exactly what Waddle was trying to do here. At least he had the good sense to chop it off before the semi-final and his ballooned penalty miss. Because the last thing he'd have wanted was to look like an eejit, after all.


7. Ray Houghton


None of yer modern nonsense for Ray, who was sticking firmly to English football's tried and tested.

6. Roberto Baggio


The Italian's hair danced in unison with his feet as he bamboozled defences.

5. Rene Higuita

Rene Higuita

Colombia's number one became infamous for his eccentricities, and his enormous head of curly hair only added to his appeal for the neutral.

While we're here, a big hand for Colombia's second keeper, Eduardo Nino, an understudy to Higuita in every sense.

Eduardo Nino

4. Ruud Gullit


You always knew where Gullit was on the field as his plentiful dreadlocks billowed in his wake. Trouble was, even if they could always tell where he was, defenders, including Ireland's, could still rarely stop the Dutch master.

3. Claudio Caniggia


The foil to Diego Maradona as defending champions Argentina went all the way to the final, Caniggia was an early adopter of the now-common alice band. But it was only when he let his hair down that the majesty of the forward's Fabio-esque locks became fully apparent.


2. Carlos Valderrama


Colombia's talisman stood out as much for his skill as his wild afro, but it's the latter for which he is most fondly remembered.

1. Rudi Voller


The most famous perm in football, Voller's blond curls made the headlines when they became the resting place for a rather large glob of expectorate, courtesy of Dutch rival Frank Rijkaard in the last 16.

I bet you can't guess how I get it so curly I bet you can't guess how I get it so curly