Beard of the Month – June 2014

The winner is…

Andrea Pirlo

pirlo_2938884bOh, Andrea. You may have a girl’s name, but what a man you are. Despite losing the top Italian beard crown earlier this year, he stills sets the standard for modern bearded style.

Knocked out of the World Cup early, he’ll probably head back to his vineyards and contemplate his teammates facial inferiority. Said to have been retiring, but now reconsidering due to Italy’s dismal performance.

sexy pirlo beard

Pirlo 2

The runners up.

Moeen Ali

Moeen aliAli is a new name to International cricket, having made his debut this year and quickly hitting his first century to salvage a draw against Sri Lanka. However, what should be noted above all else is oh my god look at the beard. Just imagine trying to lob a cricket ball at his stumps without being totally mesmerised by it. Possibly one of the longest beards in modern top class sport.

Dider Drogba

DrogbaDrogba’s beard was not enough to drag the Ivory Coast through the group stages of the World Cup. It seems Didier’s time away from Chelsea has ignited his passion for beard growing and he’s spent the time well. Great to see some of the veterans of football finally understanding what it’s all about.

Raul Meireles

MeirelesArguably the beard of the tournament so far. This photo makes him look a bit like Hugh Jackman made up for a pirate film, but don’t let that put you off. Meireles has been swashbuckling his way through the opposition for years, pillaging the odd goal and making strikers walk the plank. Ok fine, the pirate thing didn’t work, but Meireles caused a storm on twitter every time Portugal played.

Beard World Cup Groups G & H

Groups A & B
Groups C & D
Groups E & F
Groups G & H
Second Round
Quarter Finals
Semi Final
Final

Group G

Qualify:
USA
Portugal

Out:
Germany
Ghana

USA

So the Americans are finally getting into football? Bring them on I say! American sports have a great tradition of beards and appear to be bringing it with them. Former Beard of the Month winner Tim Howard has got the beard back, and Jones, Beckerman and Beasley look good too.
Jermaine JonesUSA Training & Press Conference - 2014 FIFA World CupFBL-WC-2014-USA-PRESSER

 

Portugal

Raul Meireles has seriously upped the beardy stakes with one of the longest, thickest beards I’ve seen on a football pitch. Almeida’s moustache, while commendable, is possibly ill-advised, but Neto and Vierinha provide adequate backup.
AlmeidaLuis NetoVIEIRINHA

 

 

Germany

“Never underestimate the Germans at a World Cup”. Unless it’s a Beard World Cup, in which case you probably can. Most Germans a picture of clean-shaven efficiency apart from Khedira and Hummels.
KhediraGermany's national soccer team player Hummels addresses a news conference in the village of Santo Andre

 

Ghana

Kevin Prince-Boateng is often the centre of some controversy or other, and his goatee possibly counts as controversial. Unfortunately that’s as good as it gets for the Ghanaian team. Essien sports a more orthodox but less interesting goatee.
Prince-BoatengEssien

 

Group H

Qualify:
Belgium
Algeria

Out:
Russia
South Korea

Belgium

The ‘dark horses’. The future stars. The ‘hipster team’ to support. Apparently. Either way, they’re a pretty strong team. Anthony Vanden Borre caused a stir on Twitter after just the briefest flash on the bench (not that kind of flash). Also, Defour, Mertens and Dembele.
Vanden BorreSteven DefourMoussa DembeleDries Mertens

 

Algeria

Algeria feature another impressively bearded goalkeeper. An excellent idea for that little bit of extra protection between the sticks. I haven’t been able to see much of this team in action, but this smattering of beards should stand them in good stead.
MbolhiFBL-WC-2014-ALG-TRAININGNabil GHILAS

FBL-WC-2014-FRIENDLY-ALG-ROM

 

Russia

When you think of Russia you think of long, cold nights, hard-driving snow and big burly men sipping vodka. These men may be numerous in Russia, but alas not in the Russian football team. The best I could do you was Zhirkov, and that’s not going to keep him warm is it?
Zhirkov

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Korea

The most offensively unbearded team I’ve ever seen. Had to include Jangwoo Park for comedy purposes as the very best his country could produce.
PARK Jongwoo

 

 

Beard World Cup Groups E & F

Groups A & B
Groups C & D
Groups E & F
Groups G & H
Second Round
Quarter Finals
Semi Final
Final

Group E

Qualify:
Iran
Bosnia & Herzegovina

Out:
Argentina
Nigeria

Iran

Surprisingly disappointing for a team from a Muslim nation. Possibly a bit of a stereotypical view, but I expected more. Led well by Dejagah with Haghighi, Haji Safi and Ghoochannejad.
dejagahhaghighi

 

Bosnia

Second place in this gorup was a close call, mostly because the other teams were pretty poor. I was not at all impressed by Bosnia’s first outing, but as the games have rolled by, they’ve started to pick themselves up, especially Pjanic, Medunjanin, Kolasinac and Bicakcic.
PjanicNigeria v Bosnia-Herzegovina: Group F - 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilKolasinacSlovakia v Bosnia-Herzegovina - FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier

Argentina

Very poor from Argentina, fortunately for them, they had Lavezzi and Higuain to drag them off the bottom spot.
LavezziHiguain

 

Nigeria

No standout beard performance from the African champions. Oh, there was stubble, and neckbeards and some general fuzz but I just couldn’t get excited by any of it.
Michael Babatunde Ogenyi Onazi

 

 

Group F

Qualify:
France
Switzerland

Out:
Honduras
Ecudaor

Switzerland

Surprise package of the tournament for me. Not sure why I didn’t expect much, but some sterling efforts including Mehmedi, Djourou, Rodriguez and Behrami.
MehmediDjourou
Rodriguez
Behrami

 

France

The French seemed to have stopped arguing amongst themselves and got down to the serious business of growing beards. A decent effort from Lloris, Benzema, Cabaye and Evra, but more length needed to challenge for silverware.
BenzemaCabayeEvra

Honduras & Ecuador

Thoroughly beaten by France and Switzerland and would played out a -1 all draw between themselves. When these two teams lined up against each other, there wasn’t a single beard in either starting XI. Separating them would be a pointless exercise.

 

 

 

Beard World Cup Groups C & D

Groups A & B
Groups C & D
Groups E & F
Groups G & H
Second Round
Quarter Finals
Semi Final
Final

Group C

Qualify:
Greece
Ivory Coast

Out:
Colombia
Japan

Greece

Pre-tournament favourites Greece coast through their group starting each game with a majority of bearded players. The beards clearly supporting their defensive style, here’s Karnezis, Mitroglou, Kone, and Samaras showing off his beard control.
FBL-WC-2014-GRE-PRESSER
Konstantinos Mitroglou
Panagiotis Kone
Samaras

Ivory Coast

African teams are generally described as big/strong/physical. Well, from a beard point of view this seems to be the case. Drogba’s beard got better game by game, backed up by Barry, Zokora & Gervinho.

Boubacar BARRY IC
Didier Zokora IC
Gervinho IC

 

Colombia

Almost a no-show from the Colombians, only token efforts from Aguilar and Martinez worth mentioning.
Aguilar colombia Jackson Martinez

 

Japan

A smattering of chin beards amongst the Japanese team, but too depressing to go to the bother of posting. Must try harder.

Group D

Qualify:
Italy
England

Out:
Costa Rica
Uruguay

Italy

The Italians always bring a strong and stylish bearded game and led by Pirlo make an almost unstoppable force. Here’s Pirlo, with Barzagli, De Rossi and Marchisio.
pirlo_2938884b
Andrea Barzagli
FBL-WC-2014-ITA-PRESS
Claudio Marchisio

 

England

England scrape their way through thanks to their final group game and a rotation of players. The best was from the youngest player at the tournament, Luke Shaw. Lallana, Gerrard and Sturridge (just) were the best of the rest.
Luke ShawAdam LallanaSteven Gerrard Daniel Sturridge

 

Uruguay

Uruguay had something odd going on. The only two weird chin line beards in the tournament were Uruguayan, and I can’t really say I’m happy about them. Cavani and Arevalo wobviously exploiting top Uruguayan fashion. Maybe.
Cavani egidio-raul-arevalo

 

Costa Rica

So much for the surprise of the tournament, BeardWatch remains unmoved by these clean-shaven Central Americans.

 

 

 

Beard World Cup Groups A & B

Groups A & B
Groups C & D
Groups E & F
Groups G & H
Second Round
Quarter Finals
Semi Final
Final

Group A

Qualify:
Cameroon
Brazil

Out:
Croatia
Mexico

Cameroon

Just about hold off Brazil to top the group with key performances led by the mighty goalkeeper Itandje and ably assisted by Assou Ekotto, Song and Nkoulou.

Itandje 2Soccer - International Friendly - Portugal v Cameroon - Estadio Dr Magalhaes PessoaAlexandre SongNkoulou cameroon

 

 

 

Brazil

The hosts go through with beards spread throughout the squad but had an excellent late surge in the group stage from Neymar, the moustaches of Fred and Luis Gustavo, along with Hulk.
NeymarFred tacheHulk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Croatia

Disappointing from the Croats with their rugged Eastern European swagger. Pletikosa the poor highlight.

FOOTBALL : WC2014 - Bresil vs Croatie - FIFA Coupe du monde - 12/06/2014

Mexico

In the first game of their World Cup, the Mexican XI did not include even a scrap of stubble. Not a good word to say about them.

Group B

Qualify:
Spain
The Netherlands

Out:
Chile
Australia

Spain

I kept hearing some nonsense about Spain losing, but looking at their lineup I’m not sure how that’s possible. Alonso plays his last game for Spain, Villa finally grows out that stupid soul patch, with Ramos’ and Pique’s reliably strong fuzz.

Spain Training Session and Press ConferenceDavid VillaSergio Ramos 2Pique

 

 

 

The Netherlands

A smattering of facial hair across this Dutch team with few standout examples. I’m focussing on the goatees of De Jong and Lens, with Blind and Vlaar.

Netherlands Training & Press ConferenceDaley Blind

 

Chile

A mostly beardless outfit, Arturo Vidal shining briefly, but that was about it.

Arturo Vidal

Australia

Didn’t even make an effort. A gutless, baby-faced performance from a supposedly nation of manly men. As your Dad would say when you’d really done something bad: “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.”