Afros, those big and curly hairstyles, have been a thing for some famous soccer players, giving them a unique look. Carlos Valderrama, the Colombian midfield maestro is a great example.
He sported a bold afro throughout his entire career which made it his signature style on the pitch. It wasn’t just about soccer skills for these players; they became known for rocking a standout hairstyle that went beyond the game and became a part of their identity.
Current and Past Soccer Players With Afros
- Carlos Valderrama
- Marouane Fellaini
- David Luiz
- Mohamed Sallah
- Benoit Assou Ekotto
- Axel Witsel
- Fabricio Coloccini
1. Carlos Valderrama
Carlos Valderrama is one of the Columbia soccer players with an afro, and he is regarded as one of South America’s greatest footballers.
His prowess on the field earned him a spot on Pelé’s prestigious FIFA 100 list in 2004, recognizing him as one of the world’s greatest living players. Valderrama became an important figure in Colombian football during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
He won the South American Footballer of the Year award in 1987 and 1993 and secured his position as the fifth-highest assist creator in the history of national teams.
Valderrama was Instrumental during Colombia’s golden era in the 1990s, representing his country in three FIFA World Cups and five Copa América tournaments.
However, after a career in South America and Europe, he made a mark in Major League Soccer (MLS), joining in its inaugural season.
His recognizable presence not only contributed to the league’s popularity but also earned him a spot in the MLS All-Time Best XI in 2005.
Marcelo is one of the greatest left-backs ever, leaving a great impression with his afro hairstyle. He’s one of Real Madrid’s most decorated players, boasting an impressive tally of 25 trophies.
His journey began with Fluminense in 2005, where he quickly earned recognition by securing a Campeonato Carioca title in his debut season and a spot in the 2006 Brasileirão Team of the Season.
The big move happened in January 2007 when he joined Real Madrid for $8 million. In the iconic white jersey, Marcelo became a backbone, clinching five UEFA Champions League titles and six La Liga titles.
In 2021, Marcelo became the club captain which is a historic feat as the first foreign captain since 1904. After bidding farewell to Madrid in 2022, he embarked on a brief stint with Olympiacos, followed by a triumphant return to Fluminense in 2023, securing the Copa Libertadores.
3. Marouane Fellaini
Marouane Fellaini is recognized for his towering presence on the field and also for his distinctive afro hairstyle, making him one of the famous football players who rock the afro hair.
During his time at Everton, he emerged as the club’s Young Player of the Season in 2008–09, a period when Everton reached the FA Cup final, although ending as runners-up.
His fantastic performances caught the eye, leading to a move to Manchester United in September 2013 In a £27.5 million deal.
Fellaini’s tenure at Manchester United spanned over five years, during which he played a crucial part in the club’s success, contributing to four major trophies, including the FA Cup, EFL Cup, and UEFA Europa League. His robust playing style and aerial prowess made him a formidable presence.
After more than a decade in English football, Fellaini made a move to the Chinese Super League club Shandong Taishan in February 2019. Throughout his journey, Fellaini stood out for his unique Afro hairstyle, becoming a recognizable figure.
Willian is a skilled Brazilian footballer currently playing for Fulham In the English Premier League. He has made a name for himself as a versatile player, displaying his football skills as a left-winger or attacking midfielder.
Having started his career at Corinthians, Willian’s journey took him to Shakhtar Donetsk in 2007, where he spent six fruitful years.
During this period, he bagged impressive achievements, securing four Ukrainian Premier League titles and the UEFA Cup in 2009.
In 2013, he made a move to Chelsea for £30 million. However, his time at Chelsea was spectacular. In his second season in England, Willian was Instrumental in winning the Premier League and League Cup titles. Now, as a key player for Fulham, Willian continues to bring his flair to the game.
5. David Luiz
David Luiz, a Brazilian football powerhouse is one of the famous football players with the afro hairstyle. While primarily a center-back, he has also shown his skills as a defensive midfielder.
His professional football took off at Vitoria before making a move to Benfica, where he spent five seasons. In January 2011, Luiz joined Chelsea, and his time with the club was remarkable.
He played a key role in securing the UEFA Champions League in the 2011–12 season and followed it up with a triumph in the UEFA Europa League the next season.
In June 2014, he made a historic transfer to Paris Saint-Germain for a staggering £50 million, a world record for a defender at the time.
During his two seasons in France, Luiz added four domestic competition victories to his illustrious career. Returning to Chelsea in August 2016 in a £30 million deal, he continued his winning streak with a Premier League title and a second Europa League trophy.
In 2019, he made a switch to local rivals Arsenal before making a heartfelt return to his homeland to play for Flamengo in 2021.
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6. Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah is one the famous soccer players that rock the afro hairstyle. He’s recognized for his quickness, mobility, and tactical prowess, mostly playing as a winger on the right flank.
Known for his speed, clinical finishing, and ability to create scoring opportunities, Salah’s style has made him a formidable force in football.
His playmaking skills have gained increased credit, apparent in his impressive 25 assists across the 2021–22 and 2022–23 Premier League seasons. Salah’s journey to becoming a goal-scoring sensation took an interesting turn.
Initially starting as a left-back, his passion for scoring became clear, prompting his coach to shift him to a forward position after a memorable game with the youth team of Egyptian club ENPPI.
Salah is considered one of the best players In the world and one of the greatest African players of all time. Known as the “Egyptian Messi” in the Italian media, Salah’s technical skills, pace, and left foot have drawn comparisons to the football legends Gareth Bale and Arjen Robben.
Even Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldo acknowledges Salah’s incredible talent, likening him to the iconic Lionel Messi.
7. Benoit Assou Ekotto
Benoît Assou-Ekotto, a former professional footballer known for his time at Tottenham Hotspur, made his mark as a left-back during a seven-season stint with the Premier League club.
And he’s one of the famous soccer players with an afro. In 2013, he had a brief loan spell with Queens Park Rangers before parting ways with Tottenham in 2015.
After his tenure at Tottenham, Assou-Ekotto continued his journey in French football, joining Saint-Étienne and later concluding his career with Ligue 1 club Metz.
Dante Bonfim Costa Santos is a Brazilian professional footballer with Afro, and he currently plays for the Ligue 1 club, Nice. He is versatile, and he can play as a center-back, defensive midfielder, or left-back.
Dante’s career began at Juventude, and from there, he went on a notable career playing for clubs like Lille, Charleroi, and Standard Liège.
He won the Belgian Pro League title with Standard Liège, and In January 2009, Borussia Mönchengladbach signed him. Dante spent two-and-a-half seasons with them before making a €4.7 million move to Bayern Munich.
During his stint with Bayern Munich, Dante’s trophy cabinet filled up impressively, boasting nine domestic and international honors.
9. Axel Witsel
Axel Witsel, a Belgian professional footballer known for his versatility, currently plies his trade as a defensive midfielder or center-back for La Liga club Atlético Madrid. And he’s one of the famous soccer players with Afro.
Witsel’s skills and adaptability led him to various positions on the field, initially breaking into Belgium’s first team as a right-winger before settling into roles like attacking midfielder and central midfielder, where he feels most at home.
His career took him to Portugal’s Benfica, and then to Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2012. During his time in Russia, Witsel clinched four honors before making a move to Tianjin Quanjian in January 2017.
In 2018, Witsel made a triumphant return to European football with Borussia Dortmund. With Dortmund, he secured more silver wear like the 2019 DFL-Supercup and the 2020–21 DFB-Pokal.
10. Fabricio Coloccini
Fabricio Coloccini is one of the most notable players In Newcastle United football history. His £10.3 million move to the club was honored by a debut against Manchester United, and he became a consistent presence in the squad.
Despite facing criticism for a rough game against Liverpool, manager Joe Kinnear stood by him, labeling Coloccini as “Mr. Reliable.”
During a tough period that saw Newcastle’s relegation, Coloccini stood tall, becoming the backbone of the team’s defense.
His resilience paid off when the team secured promotion, with Coloccini even making it to the Championship’s Team of the Year.
Coloccini’s leadership qualities shone through when he was named Newcastle’s captain for the 2011–12 season. Partnering with Steven Taylor, their defensive duo proved formidable, conceding only eight goals in the first 11 games.
One of his best performances was when he earned a spot in the PFA Team of the Year in 2012. In 2013, Coloccini requested a transfer back to Argentina for personal reasons.
Despite speculations, he opted to stay at Newcastle until the end of the 2013–14 season. Coloccini’s loyalty to the club continued, recording his 200th league appearance and a goal against Liverpool in 2014.
Pataka is a consistent and avid follower of the round leather game. He communicates his passion by editing soccer posts for various soccer platforms.