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Introducing the World Cup All-Bald Team

  • Shawn Donnelly


This is the latest installment of The World Cup According to Kempt™, our series on the stuff that really matters at this summer’s tournament in South Africa.

As we were putting together the World Cup All-Hair Team, it hit us: we should do a similar list for all the bald/shaved-head guys at the tournament. (Call it a moment of brilliance.) After all, for every phenomenally coiffed Argentine defender in South Africa, there is a hairless-pated Dutch forward. So here it is, the World Cup All-Bald Team. Give it a look, and who knows, maybe these guys will inspire you to take a pair of clippers to your own scalp.

Goalkeeper Tim Howard, USA The obvious choice. Because he’s bald, he’s good, and he’s American. (Also, he was drafted by the Harlem Globetrotters. Not that that’s relevant at all, we just thought you might find it interesting.) Goalkeeper is by far the most competitive All-Bald Team position, as it turns out. Howard had to beat out Mexico’s Oscar Perez, Spain’s Pepe Reina and U.S. backup Marcus Hahnemann, among others.

Defenders Maicon, Brazil In addition to being totally hairless, he is one of the best—if not the best—right-sided defenders in the world. And he scored a very important goal for Brazil against North Korea. (Never thought we’d write that sentence.)

Didier Zokora, Ivory Coast The other Ivorian named Didier. He’s a versatile player (he can line up in midfield or defense), and we like the bald-head-and-goatee combo he’s sporting at the World Cup. About half of the Ivory Coast’s team is bald, by the way. A lot to choose from on the green and orange.

Matthew Booth, South Africa This guy hasn’t gotten any action yet for South Africa, but we hope he does because whenever he touches the ball, the crowd screams, “Booooooth!” (Anything to get a vuvuzela break.) It should also be noted that he’s the only white guy on South Africa’s squad, as far as we can tell. Sort of like the photo negative of the rugby team in Invictus.

Egidio Arevalo, Uruguay This guy was huge in Game 1 against France, helping his team secure a point even though they were down to ten men. As a defender, nothing says “I’m not f***ing around” like a shaved head.

Midfielders Michael Bradley, USA A gritty, tireless worker with a nose for goal, Bradley has a hairstyle that fits his game. (He can’t be bothered with any ornamentation.) Like Vin Diesel circa 2000, it’s tough to tell how much hair Bradley’s actually got. (He’s only 22.) But we definitely know where he’s heading.

Juan Sebastian Veron, Argentina This guy is like 42. OK, he’s only 35. But even back when he was purchased by Manchester United in 2001 and touted as the world’s best midfielder, he had the shaved head, goatee and earring thing going. (And we always thought he looked like a pirate. Still do.) It just goes to show, a shaved head never goes out of style.

Wesley Sneijder, Netherlands The Netherlands is like Bald City. And Sneijder, like his teammate Arjen Robben, is one of those guys who looks so much cooler with a shaved head than he did with a half head of hair a few years ago. He’s also one hell of a playmaker and he has a super hot girlfriend.

Landon Donovan, USA OK, he’s not bald. But we’re not making an All-Dave Matthews Lookalike list anytime soon, and we wanted to include him. If anything, Lando’s done a great job of bending but not breaking, follicle-y; seems like he’s had the same hairline for about five years now. Not that we’ve been watching it intently or anything…

Forwards Wayne Rooney, England Wayne’s not bald yet, either. But the key word is “yet.” He seems to lose a little more each game. We can’t wait to see him in, say, 2012. Will he cut it all off? Or go with a donut? It would be sort of awesome if one of the best strikers in the world looked like Ed Harris.

Nicolas Anelka, France Like Veron, another veteran head-shaver. These days, Anelka opts for the bald-head-and-short-beard combo, which is a strong move. Call it the Lamar Odom.

Coach Bob Bradley, USA Ask yourself this: would you like Bob Bradley as much if he had a full head of hair? No, you wouldn’t. The lack of hair is part of his charm.

Referee Howard Webb, England A shaved head commands a little more respect when you’re a referee or a policeman. And it just so happens that Webb has been both.

Subs: Philippe Senderos, Switzerland; Arjen Robben, Netherlands; Fabio Cannavaro, Italy; half of Cameroon’s team.