The Best And Worst Hair Transplants In Football History

The best lids in the league...

The Best And Worst Hair Transplants In Football History

Fellas of a certain age will know what I mean when I say that Father Time catches us all. I’ve even seen younger guys facing the inevitable recession in recent years, with the return Turkish Airlines flight looking more and more appealing each passing year.

But it’s nice to see that even the rich and famous amongst us suffer from the same unavoidable problems, with several high-profile football stars faced with a common challenge amongst ageing men… the only difference is they’ve got the means to go out and fix that trim.

Here we’ll take a look at some of the best (and worst) hair transplants in football history.

1. Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney burst onto the scene as an explosive teenage sensation with his boyhood club Everton in the English Premier League. The forward then secured a mega-money move to Manchester United where he would become the club’s leading goalscorer and a veritable legend of the English game.

But Rooney’s enduring star power came at a cost to his body, suffering injuries in the twilight of his career that forced him to retire in 2021 – for reference, Rooney is eight months younger than former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo – and the player admitted he needed a couple of hair transplants to stave off the inevitable… although they haven’t seemed to have stuck.

2. Antonio Conte

No one on this list can boast a comeback story quite like Italian coach Antonio Conte. Images of the retired pro showed his barnet was barely hanging by a thread during his playing days in Italy’s Serie A, aged just 26.

But when Conte pivoted into management in 2007, the former Juventus baller was spotted rocking a completely shaved head, with evidence of regrowth sprouting across his bald scalp. When he eventually reached his prime in coaching, with clubs such as Juventus, Inter and Tottenham, Conte exhibited an impressive full head of hair.

3. Mohammed Salah

Mohammed Salah ended the 2023/24 season with uncomfortable images circulating around social media of an obvious receding hairline as he cut a dejected figure on the football pitch. Unfortunately for Mo, whose signature hairstyle has become as much a part of his profile as his wicked pace down the right flank, any regressive change to your hairline becomes extremely prevalent when you’ve got longer hair.

But with the European season wrapping up for another year, the Egyptian international posted a new look to his channels, sporting a pretty solid buzz cut… and fans were quick to jump to quite obvious conclusions.

4. David Beckham

Someone who you probably wouldn’t expect to see on this list is, arguably, football’s greatest-ever export David Beckham. The former Manchester United and England star’s reputation extends far beyond the paradigms of the football pitch, with modelling contracts and dedicated Netflix documentaries centred around Beckham’s incredible mainstream success… but it could have all looked entirely different.

For a man who was known for changing his hairstyles each season, Golden Balls was able to conceal the first signs of balding pretty effortlessly during his playing days. It’s reported that Beckham took the step in 2011, resulting in his now signature head of hair.

5. Rob Holding

Former Arsenal defender Rob Holding’s hairline came back with a fierce vengeance when he eventually had a hair transplant in 2018. The English footballer was showing early signs of balding even though he was in his early twenties, with a receding hairline forming an obvious V shape.

“Losing your hair at that young of an age is not something you want to be screaming and shouting about.

Rob Holding

Holding’s hair transplant took hold with incredible results. In only a few months, the biggest problem for Holding was no longer how he was going to hide his regressing lid. Instead, he had to keep pushing his flowing locks out of his face when he was playing and rocked the mid, shoulder-length hair for an extended period. If you’ve got it, flaunt it.

6. Andros Townsend

Andros Townsend announced himself as a young and dynamic inverted winger when he made his Tottenham Hotspur debut in 2009, exploding down the flank with his signature pace and fierce left foot. But once he left his boyhood club for pastures new, his fading lid was starting to show, and Townsend opted to take measures into his own hands.

Now plying his trade for Luton Town, you would have never thought that Townsend suffered from hair loss in his mid-twenties, with a full and well-shaped head of hair.

7. Cesc Fàbregas

Cesc Fàbregas is a name known throughout the European football world; a wonderkid in every sense of the word, becoming Arsenal’s youngest-ever player when he signed from Barcelona aged 16 years and 177 days old. The Spanish midfielder would go on to become club captain when he was just 21.

But when he signed for Chelsea in the later stages of his playing career, Fàbregas had started to rock a closer shaved buzz cut, in an attempt to hide the hair loss starting to show on the sides of his head. But when he was in his final season with the West London team, the Spanish footballer was letting his hair out as balled out in the middle of the park.

8. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang

Much like Mo Salah, I feel Pierre Emerick Aubameyang fell victim to the modern-day fandom of the football world, as unfortunate images circulated online of the Gabonese forward’s disappearing lid during a game.

The former Arsenal player (is there something in the water over in North London?) has since moved to the French league with Marseille to resurrect his career, sporting a completely new look in the process.

9. Marc-Andre ter Stegen

Barcelona shot-stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been one of Europe’s most dependable goalkeepers in recent memory; a mainstay in the Catalonian football club and a sure-thing between the sticks when an opposition player finds himself through on goal. If only the same could be said for his hairline…

The German no.2 has experienced dramatic change since his time in the Spanish league, with his fading hairline drastically returning over the last few seasons, fuller and thicker. Mr. Dependable once more.

10. Jürgen Klopp

Outgoing Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp will go down as a legend of the club after almost a decade in the hot seat. The German coach delivered a Premier League, a Champions League and a handful of domestic cups since taking over in 2015 and will be sorely missed as he makes way for the new coach this summer.

Klopp has built a reputation for being a straight-talker during his time at the English club, stemming from his time spent in the German leagues as both a player and a manager. It was here that Klopp decided to take a proactive step to curb the loss of his hairline when he transitioned into football management… and he hasn’t looked back since.