Aside from being the planet's biggest sporting event and the basis for widespread football-based nationalistic fury, the World Cup also serves as a fantastic exhibition of delightful hairdos. Yes, hairdos. So come with us now as we waste time together and examine some of our favorites from the last couple weeks.
Rigobert Song, Cameroon
With his dyed blonde locks and gotee, the 33-year-old whose first World Cup was the long ago USA '94 looks more like an awesome version of Father Time than a footballer. Unfortunately for Cameroon, he isn't actually Father Time and crashed out with three losses in the group stage.
[Photos: See more of Cameroon's bearded veteran]
Nicklas Bendtner, Denmark
Like a follicular flame proudly burning atop his head, the faux-hawk of the young Danish striker arrogantly defies gravity. And it kind of looks like he cut it himself.
Bacary Sagna, France
His tight, highlighted braids are oddly reminiscent of Bo Derek in "10" but Sagna's distinct style is actually the result of a bet with his father wherein he would be allowed to choose his hairstyle if he scored two goals against a team of older guys. Well, he did it and decided on the braids. But he doesn't remember why.
[Photos: See more of Bacary Sagna and his braids]
Djibril Cisse, France
Cisse managed to add a literal bright spot to France’s brief World Cup campaign of madness and doom. In fact, his hair and beard combo was probably the least crazy thing going in the France camp, and that’s saying something for a landing strip on your dome that resembles the bleached version of Pepe Le Pew’s backside. Even crazier than Cisse with a crazy hairdo? Cisse without one. He shaved the glory before the last match against South Africa.
Lionel Messi, Argentina
Kid just flat out needs a haircut. This is about three weeks past the point where my mother would have stopped talking to me. It’s, in a word, messy. Somebody needs to tell him he’s not in the Beatles (but he is the best footballer in the world).
[Photos: See more of Argentina's shaggy superstar]
Valon Behrami, Switzerland
First word that comes to mind: Onion. And it just looks like it requires far more effort than it's worth, doesn't it?
Gervinho, Ivory Coast
I like to call this one "The Flying V." Impressive in its severity and daring combination of several different styles, Gervinho's hair matches his game extremely well -- awe-inspiring.
[Photos: See more of Gervinho's stylish look]
It is often said that a team takes the personality of its captain. Well, Portugal definitely takes after Cristiano Ronaldo in the hairstyling department. Pass the gel, C-Ron. Other highlights of this squad include Fabio Coentrao’s frostiness (No. 23), Raul Meireles' (No. 16) top flop, and Pepe (No. 15) converting from bald to a Portuguese Backstreet Boy.
Hassan Yebda, Algeria
It's like a peroxide wave!
[Photos: See more of Algeria's blonde midfielder]
Carles Puyol (right), Spain
The absolute definition of a mop. Endless untamed curls that should have him in the running for the next Geico commercial in case this football thing doesn’t work out.
Marek Hamsik, Slovakia
And finally, the most dangerous hair in the World Cup. If hair could scream, that's what it would look like while doing so.
Well, those are our favorites. Certainly there are a number of fantastic manes not included here, so drop your picks in the comments.
Photos: Getty, AP
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