CUIABA, Brazil — It was an odd place to find three international footballers on the eve of a crucial World Cup game, inside a small hair salon located on the forecourt of a gas station on the outskirts of a remote Brazilian city.
But there they were, Nigeria stars Emmanuel Emenike, Kenneth Omeruo and Ahmed Musa, eager for a new style and color touch-ups for the big match against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
“They are very vain,” said Dirce Cardoso, owner of the Salao de Beleza Aeroporto in southern Cuiaba. “They wanted to be pampered.”
So Cardoso obliged. She canceled her other appointments, closed the salon and gave the footballers the full VIP treatment. Two of them got a Mohican and two of them had their hair dyed black.
Total cost: $71 — and Cardoso was even treated to a ticket for the match.
It seems like we have a new addition to the footballer’s pre-match routine — healthy meal, massage, a few media interviews ... and a new haircut.
This World Cup has been a tournament full of goals, surprise results and breath-taking skills, but also some of the wackiest, most outrageous hairstyles you’ll find in sports.
Rat tails, mohicans, dreadlocks, braids, bleached blond, outlandish side-partings, the “Afro” — you name a hairstyle, and at least one player is certain to have had it. And it’s been the talk of Twitter during games.
Footballers appear to be pre-occupied with their hair like never before.
“I found out that my haircut got quite a lot of people talking on social media,” France defender Mathieu Debuchy told The Associated Press, sporting a hairstyle that can best be described as shaved on the sides with of lizard-shaped comb-over/side-parting.
“So much the better if people talk and communicate about it. I feel good this way, I like it and that’s the main thing, no?”