Top knots are the hairstyle sweeping the football world

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic leads the way for top knots in the footballing universe. Photo / Photsport
Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic leads the way for top knots in the footballing universe. Photo / Photsport

The footballing world has seen a smorgasbord of outlandish hairstyles in the 21st century.

From David Beckham's mohican to, well, pretty much any of Paul Pogba's efforts, footballers are seen as more than just athletes. They are fashion pioneers who are not afraid to be rebuked in their quest for the perfect trim.

Aaron Ramsey and Lionel Messi, among others, have recently dabbled with the bleached blond look, but the top knot's presence in world football has been gradually growing over the last year or so, with a certain Swede leading the way.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been a fan of the style since his AC Milan days and was one of the first footballers to don a top knot.

The hairstyle has been derided by the fashion police in England, but with the CV Ibrahimovic boasts, along with his imposing physical frame, not many people have mocked the forward for his chosen coiffure.

Ibrahimovic is not the only world-class talent to tie his hair, as well as defenders, in knots.

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale is also partial to a top knot, and is currently enjoying the most successful period of his career after winning his second Champions League and leading Wales to their greatest ever tournament showing at this summer's European Championship. Coincidence? Almost definitely.

Back in the Premier League, Ibrahimovic's arrival - and his hairstyle - has caused ructions with members of United's bitter North West rivals.

Liverpool Alberto Moreno and Roberto Firmino have both changed their do's to ones similar to that sported by the former Paris Saint-Germain striker. Maybe they do each other's knots in the changing room before a match...

Utility player and Dutch star Daley Blind has also experimented with the top knot during his time at Manchester United.

Blind is held in high regard by the Old Trafford faithful and, like his team-mate Ibrahimovic, he seems to suit the 'gap year' look. In other words, he doesn't look completely and utterly ridiculous, unlike some.

Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk has a similar trim to that of his compatriot Blind, but sources seem to suggest that the former Celtic star sports a 'man bun', not a top knot.

Across the pond, Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi is embracing the top knot in all its glory.

With Andrea Pirlo, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard patrolling the centre of the park in MLS, American international Zusi has perhaps found a way to stand out from the crowd, along with the aforementioned veteran superstars.

Let's not forget Roma midfield general Radja Nainggolan, whose variant of the craze is almost as eye-catching as his wide array of tattoos.

The Belgian international, who was a target for Chelsea, is steering away from the conventional top knot and seemingly taking inspiration from a triceratops.

Honourable (or dishonourable) mentions go to West Ham forward Andy Carroll, AC Milan's Phillip Mexes, the currently unattached Martin Caceres and Stoke City winger Marko Arnautovic. All of them are key figures in hairalding the latest in a long line of eye-catching coiffures that have graced the football world in recent years.

- Daily Mail

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