For those who haven’t realised it yet, beards are now “in.” So many of Europe’s top players are now proud owners of top quality beards. And lets face it, who doesn’t think Andrea Pirlo’s and companies beards are anything short of majestic.
Whether it’s David Beckham or Pep Guardiola, a beard is almost essential to being a footballer these days, or so it seems. An old Spanish proverb says: “a chin without a beard deserves no honour.”
Facial hair has, in the past, been very popular amongst footballers. Remember Graeme Souness or Ruud Gullitt’s moustache? The 70’s moustache is no longer in fashion, (thank God). But with the beard being “in,” just who is sporting the best football beard? I’ve prepared a list of my top 10 beards. I’ve tried to keep it as current as possible but with the odd exception.
10. Roy Keane
Looking more like a badger lately, Keane’s black and white beard is as intimidating as his fearful stare. His scruffy beard strikes fear into other pundits around the world now, just like his tackes once did to opposing players. We all know how frightened Gareth Southgate is on ITV because of Roy and his beard. That poor man is 43 and still cant grow one. Keane didn’t succeed as a manager but I’ll put that down to Sunderland and Ipswich not being man enough to deal with Keane and his beard.
9. David Beckham
I don’t really admire Beckham as much as most but I have to say that he knows how to handle a beard. He has taken his to a whole new level. Yes, David Beckham has embraced the beard in a whole new way. For years people have imitated Becks and his style and now many are attempting to copy his immaculate facial hair.
8. Robert Pires
Although there wasn’t much of a beard, Pires and his tiny strip of hair on his chin was just as impressive as a full grown beard. Imagine the effort and time he put into maintaining that beard every morning. Granted, it does look ridiculous but so does wearing a hair band when your a man so fair play to him for that. Pires is only included in the top beard list because of the amount of effort he made with his facial hair. More a sympathy vote than anything.
7. Gennaro Gattuso
This fearless and ferocious midfielder protected Milan’s back four for 13 years. An original trend setter, Gattuso has sported his beard ever since he put on a Milan jersey. Crunching into a tackle with Gattuso is made all the more terrifying when you take his beard into account. Gattuso’s beard now strikes fear onto opposing teams in Switzerland playing for FC Sion.
6. Andre Villas Boas
Or AVB as the hipsters would say. The portugeese Spurs manager has followed in Xabi Alonso’s footprint owning a slightly less impressive ginger fuzz. The fashionable manager has proved a huge hit with Spurs fans and I’m not surprised, his beard is quite fantastic.
5. Pep Guardiola
Arguably the most trendy manager there has ever been. (Mourinho and AVB dont even come close in my book.) Guardiola will soon bless Bayern Munich with the presence of that fine beard on a daily basis just like he did at Barcelona. If people think that Xavi, Iniesta or Messi were the catalysts in Barca’s success, they should think again. Of course it wasn’t them, it was Guardiola’s beard. Don’t ever change Pep.
4. Xabi Alonso
The Real Madrid playmaker rocks that ginger beard like no other could. Not only is Alonso a wonderful footballer and the fulcrum of one of the worlds most famous clubs, he has a phenomenal beard that has to be respected. Thanks to Xabi Alonso it is now deemed acceptable to sport some ginger fuzz on your face. Congratulations gingers.
3. George Best
The great George Best had his troubles but something you could always rely on was Besty sporting that glossy black beard. One of the Busby babes, Best will be remembered as one of Manchester United’s
greatest ever players. Much of his brilliance stemmed from the sheer awe opposing defenders felt about how wonderful Best’s beard was.
2. Danielle De Rossi
Another of the original trend setters, Danielle De Rossi has been sporting a beard as long as I can remember him playing. Now 29, the Roma midfielder is well-known for his terrifying challenge and very cool beard. I am a firm believer that all tough midfielders should own a beard so that they can strike fear into their opponent before they even make a tackle.
1. Andrea Pirlo
Easily the best beard I have ever seen in my entire life, Andrea Pirlo sports a fantastic beard. I first noticed it during Euro 2012 and since then it has continued to evolve. Adored by football hipsters for his playing style and of course his beard, Pirlo has become somewhat of a cult hero. For a reason unknown to me, Pirlo’s talents have only been appreciated greatly in the last year or so. I’m putting that down to the emergence of that outstanding beard. Congratulations Pirlo you win at life.