Footballers are always some of the first to push the boat out with hairstyles, thus it’s no surprise to see that some of the game’s greats were ahead of the curve with the mullet trend that’s come back around.
We’ve seen it all in football, from the long locks like Beckham, to the short spikes and mohawks, and the quiff/headband combination that Jack Grealish has made so popular these days.
But somewhere between all that, the mullet has lay dormant until now. It’s taken over the world once again, so we thought we’d trawl the archives and rank the very best of the best when it comes to mullets in football.
13. Trifon Ivanov
The late Bulgarian famously donned his mullet at the 1994 World Cup and took it to a fourth-place finish with his team.
As they go it was a good effort, but nothing more. Little bit scraggly at times, but something you’d see these days at a bar where only independent brewed pints are sold and be in awe of.
Standards have dropped.
Today would also have been Trifon Ivanov's 58th birthday.https://t.co/sgn0wz3e4D
Terrified forwards around the world with his tough tackling and popstar good looks. One of the game's biggest characters. pic.twitter.com/qlzHRHvzER
— A Sticker's Worth 500 Words (@Sticker500) July 27, 2023
12. Mesut Ozil
Look, Mesut, we see the vision and when one is as creative as yourself, we can’t exactly judge. But it didn’t quite come off, did it?
While the silky German became the assist king with his refined style as he matured, young Schalke Ozil was trying to pair a party in the back with a mohawk on top and highlights that looked like they’d been done in the dark.
It’s chaotic and we love it, but it faces stiff competition in this list.
11. Ange Postecoglou
Long before his days as a manager in Europe, Big Ange wowed with a pretty bloody good mullet. Never mind business in the front, party in the back – this is just all party.
Perhaps too much party, if anything.
— SMH Sport (@SMHsport) March 27, 2017
10. Fernando Torres
Back in the glory days of the mid-2000s, when Total 90 boots ran the show and all was good with the world, a young Torres was trying his best to revive the mullet in 2004.
And while we appreciate the effort, the execution wasn’t all there. It’s textbook – short in the front, long in the back – but the undercut on the sides is a bit extreme. Did fades not exist back then? Almost brilliant.
🇪🇸 A young Fernando Torres at EURO 2004 👶
— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) November 5, 2021
Controversial, this, as there were plenty of times where Neymar’s hair has resembled a mohawk more than a mullet.
But in the early days of his career, it definitely counted as the latter. Straighteners out and everything to get it right. Mullet Neymar was a menace and we miss him dearly.
8. Gerry Francis
Astoundingly, the older Francis has got, the more outrageous his mullet has become.
The former QPR man rocks a seriously textbook mullet, extremely short in the front before flowing into a silvered main in the back.
He most definitely shouldn’t have it anymore at his age, but for how clean it is and his commitment to the cause, we’ll give him his flowers.
— BBC Sport London (@BBCLondonSport) June 21, 2023
7. Cesc Fabregas
One of the greatest midfielders in the 21st century, it’s a bit mental to look back and accept that a 16-year-old Fabregas rocked up to Arsenal sporting the most absurd mullet one could imagine.
Seriously, it looked straight out of the 80s. Proper rockstar vibes. The kid strolled into Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal with a Billy Ray Cyrus-esque do, complete with highlights, and blossomed into one of the Premier League’s best midfielders. That’s how you do it.
Cesc Fabregas with a mullet was a vibe 🤩 pic.twitter.com/BIIxj40cPL
— NXGN (@nxgn_football) August 2, 2022
6. Hector Bellerin
After leaving Arsenal, Bellerin didn’t just continue his ascent to becoming the coolest footballer alive – he transformed into Eddie Guerrero.
Upon returning to Spain, initially with Real Betis and then Barcelona, before heading back to Betis, there was a period where Bellerin sported a mullet so cool that only he could pull it off.
As it grew out, though, he simply ended up looking more and more like the late, great professional wrestler. Viva la raza.
5. Diego Maradona
We’re in Ballon d’Or mullet territory, now. There are no slouches from here on in, just pure chaos in the form of two haircuts merged together.
Maradona’s mullet – at its peak – was a big, dark, curly masterpiece. Perhaps lacked a bit of definition, but it suited him down to a tee.
Loses points for not quite being so textbook. And in this case, by textbook we mean horrendous looking. Maradona’s was too stylish. Belongs at a gig for a small, unheard-of band in Manchester.
4. Roberto Baggio
The Divine Ponytail himself, Baggio might’ve been the only person ever to think to combine an already absurd mullet with an even more strange ponytail hanging off the back of it.
When he wasn’t tying defenders up in knots or bagging free-kicks, your eyes would be drawn to the science experiment between his ears – and we don’t mean his brain.
Quite possibly the most unique take on the mullet in this list.
A bona fide @azzurri icon turns 5⃣2⃣ today 🎂
Happy birthday to the great Roberto Baggio! 🇮🇹🙌 pic.twitter.com/ddQyYaJPqf
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) February 18, 2019
3. Barry Venison
It takes a special kind of mullet to eclipse the one that Venison rocked for the majority of his playing career.
Forget a party, the Englishman had a rave going on up there. Complete with blonde highlights and a swooping quiff, Venison’s gorgeous mane flowed down the back of his neck.
He looked like he’d walked straight out of Los Angeles. Or a wrestling ring. Or a standalone bar out in the middle of nowhere in North America.
It’s Barry Venison’s birthday today.
So here’s a brief history of his hair in football stickers.
One mullet. A lifetime of memories. pic.twitter.com/p3OrHo3Q5p
— A Funny Old Game (@sid_lambert) August 16, 2023
2. Rudi Voller
A bleach blonde, permed mullet straight out of the 1980s, on an obscenely good footballer? Stop that, Rudi. Just stop it.
If a player rocked up to a game with a do like that these days, we’re fairly certain he’d be invited to walk at just about every fashion week possible for the next five years. The German was so unbelievably ahead of the curve it’s untrue.
Unfortunately for Voller, there’s one man – one mullet – that somehow eclipses his masterpiece.
It's Frank Rijkaard's birthday today. You know, great footballer, Milan hero, spat on Rudi Voller.
Here's what Big Jack Charlton thought of that last incident.pic.twitter.com/wKoQPSk8s4
— Planet Football (@planetfutebol) September 30, 2022
1. Chris Waddle
If an alien came down from outer space and you asked them to draw a mullet, the first thing they’d draw is something akin to Waddle’s absolute monstrosity/work of art.
There will never be a mullet to top Waddle’s. It’s the textbook mullet. The pinnacle of mullets. Mulletmania. A mullet that could get you anywhere you wanted.
It’s absolutely hideous, but for that reason it brings a tear to your eye. Undisputed perfection. If you’re going to get a mullet, aim for this. Go big or go home.
Chris Waddle Marseille. The best mullet ever? Retweet if you agree pic.twitter.com/8Pih77t9RH
— FlashBack Football (@FlashBKFootball) July 13, 2015