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March Madness Bracket Challenge: Who Has the Greatest Hairstyle in Roma History?

There aren't many better looking clubs in all of sport than Roma. But which Roma player rocked the best hairstyle?

Serie A - “AS Roma v Lazio Roma”

March is a special time in America. From the return of the Shamrock Shake at McDonalds to the looming start of the baseball season to the slow and steady emergence of spring, March is a time for renewed optimism. March in America is also a time for rampant gambling on the exploits of unpaid teenagers charging up and down a basketball court, padding the endowments of the country's biggest universities by funneling money into the coffers of soft drink manufacturers, automobile companies, and pharmaceutical firms who pay millions of dollars to sponsor an “amateur” tournament.

Cynicism aside, the opening days of the NCAA tournament, aka March Madness, are always some of the most exciting days on the sports calendar. Things are a bit different now, of course, but I'm sure we all have that person in our office/warehouse/school who is so seduced by this cocktail of sports, gambling, and television that they plan out the first few days of the tournament months in advance, saving up and banking all their PTO to coincide with the opening days of the tourney where you can pretty much watch college basketball the entire day.

I'm not a huge college basketball fan but I'm a sucker for a $5 office bracket, so I usually get roped in. We obviously can't recreate that experience with calcio, but if there were a March Madness tourney for the most stylish clubs in Serie A, Roma would win hands down.

But this isn't a kit bracket. Nope, we're going in a slightly different direction and pitting some of Roma's most beloved hairstyles against each other in our very own March Madness bracket challenge.

We've selected 16 of the most memorable hairstyles from AS Roma history, split them into two separate regions, and will crown a champion late next week.

So, without further delay, let the voting commence!

Romulus Region

Francesco Totti Scudetto Long Hair (#1) vs. Philippe Mexes Ponytail (#8)

Photo : Thomas Pictures / Jean Paul Thomas / Icon Sport via Getty Images

Francesco Totti sported a lot of iconic hairdos during his time with Roma, but perhaps his most memorable look was the long tresses he sported during the early 2000s, which look even better set against the club's equally iconic two-toned kit they wore during the 2001-2002 season. The look, the player, the kit. This hairstyle is a top seed any way you slice it.

Pitted against Scudetto Totti is another beloved player from the early to mid-2000s, former Roma center-back Philippe Mexes. The French defender had a variety of hairstyles during his eight years with the club, but there was just something about the long hair that matched his marauding style of play.


Totti long hair vs. Mexes ponytail

This poll is closed

  • 82%
    (382 votes)
  • 17%
    (81 votes)
463 votes total Vote Now

Gabriel Batistuta's Biblical Locks (#2) vs Lindsey Thomas’ Silver Braids (#7)

Photo by Giuseppe Cottini/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Another long-haired icon from Roma's last title team, Gabriel Batistuta's 2001 hairstyle and beard combo looked like it was ripped straight from a renaissance painting. With Totti running alongside him, Roma's 2001 team had an almost angelic look about them. Batistuta and his 20 goals were pivotal in the Giallorossi's most recent Scudetto success, but I'm guessing when you think of Batistuta you remember the look and the celebration more than any particular goal.

Going up against Batigol is Lindsey Thomas’ silver braided look from earlier this season. While she's since ditched this style, there's no denying it's a show stopper, particularly with Roma's soon-to-be-classic kits from this season. The contrast between her natural hair color and the silver/white streaks makes this style pop even more.


Batistuta's long locks vs. Thomas’ silver streaks

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    (303 votes)
  • 31%
    (138 votes)
441 votes total Vote Now

Pablo Daniel Osvaldo's Aquaman (#3) vs. Alessio Cerci's Curly Mop Top (#6)

Retesport and Photo credit should read NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP via Getty Images

Is it Jason Momoa? Is it Aquaman? No, it’s Pablo Daniel Osvaldo! You just gotta love the fancy caveman look. It’s so manly, he’s a walking aphrodisiac for women (and men, guilty as charged). Pablo could also sport a man bun and get away with it.

The Pirate joined Roma in 2011 and averaged approximately one goal every two games during his Roman career under Luis Enrique and Zeman, including one (dramatic) Coppa final in 2013. Osvaldo regularly was one of the highlights of those days—remember his machine gun celebrations. Crazy in the coconut but boy, what a man!

If Alessio Cerci ever quits professional football, he can always start an 80’s cover band. Thick brown curly hair waving in the wind. I could watch Cerci play football for days thanks to his hairstyle.

Once hailed as the next Roman wonderkid, Alessio sadly never fulfilled his potential. Some unsuccessful loans to smaller teams, three goals in Europe and sold to Fiorentina in 2010 for a mere €4 million, that’s it really. To paraphrase a legendary 80s rock band: Another one bites the dust.


PDO as Aquaman vs. Cerci's Mop Top

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    (343 votes)
  • 19%
    (85 votes)
428 votes total Vote Now

Agostino Di Bartolomei Bangs (#4) vs. Zaniolo Bleached (#5)

Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

A member of the club Hall of Fame and one of the most versatile midfielders of his day, Agostino Di Bartolomei is a Roma legend who left us far too early. Ago is probably best remembered for his technical ability and versatility on the pitch, but the man had quite a bit of style as evidenced by his classic 80s side-swept bangs. It's a look that seems to come back into style every 15 to 20 years or so, so keep an eye out for its return.

Nicolo Zaniolo hasn't really played with the length of his hair during his brief career, but as you can see, he got a bit adventurous over the past year or so, transforming his dirty blonde locks into an almost flaxen look. It makes him look even more like a Karate Kid villain, but there's no denying it—he pulls it off effortlessly.


Ago's bangs vs. Zaniolo's bleached look

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    (155 votes)
  • 63%
    (274 votes)
429 votes total Vote Now

Remus Region

Francesco Totti Swayze Mullet (#1) vs. Lamela's Asymmetrical Faux Hawk (#8)

Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images and Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Totti makes his second appearance in our bracket, and his second #1 seed, too. This time around, we went with Totti's 2010 Patrick Swayze-style mullet. It was a bit of an anachronistic look at the time (mullets were way out of fashion and the 80s retro craze hadn’t yet taken hold of western civilization) but Totti scored 42 goals between 2009 and 2011, so the business in the front and party in the back motif really worked wonders for him.

Erik Lamela, who we once thought would assume Totti's mantle as Roma's best player, was a big advocate of the slightly tilted faux hawk that every kid on earth seemed to have in the early 2010s. Lamela scored 19 goals while sporting this hairstyle, which he later bleached during his early days with Spurs, so perhaps selling him was the right move.


Totti mullet vs. Lamela faux hawk

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    (256 votes)
  • 39%
    (167 votes)
423 votes total Vote Now

Young Claudio Ranieri (#2) vs. Manuela Giugliano's Disconnect (#7)

AS Roma and Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images

I bet you didn't know that young Marlon Brando played for Roma before he was a full-fledged movie star, did you? All kidding aside, just look at young Claudio! If his footballing career didn't pan out, he could have easily graced magazine covers all over the world, selling watches, cologne, those little cigarette cases, or whatever fashionable gentleman of the early 1970s craved.

Up against this Roman legend is Manuela Giugliano, Roma's midfield maestro and one of the biggest signings in recent Roma history. While she's currently sporting shoulder-length red locks, Manu arrived in the capital rocking the short on the side, long on the top disconnected look. It will likely go down as one of the more popular styles of the late 2010s and early 2020s and Giugliano wore it as well as anyone.


Young Claudio vs. Giugliano's Disconnect

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    Young Claudio
    (241 votes)
  • 40%
    (166 votes)
407 votes total Vote Now

El Shaarawy's Spikes (#3) vs. Rodrigo Taddei's No Country for Old Men (#6)

Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images and Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

We all know Taddei brought a lot of good things to Rome: his flair, flexibility, amazing smile, those small shorts during training but the best damn thing—his haircut. Only Taddei can pull this off and I surely can’t be the only one who instantly thinks of Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men?

Taddei, AKA Willem Dafoe 2.0, spent a grand total of nine seasons in Rome, 300+ games, winning two Coppa Italia and one Supercoppa. A fan favorite and blessing for every coach. His best moment? The Aurelio vs Olympiakos in the Champions League, of course, mamma mia.

Sometimes I think Stephan was just born with that stunning haircut. It also suits his explosive playing style, creating space with razor-thin dribbling and high-speed runs past defenders. A real menace and walking hair gel commercial.

With 40 goals in four seasons and three top 3 finishes, Stephan was a smart piece of business from Roma. Since January SES is enjoying his second stint at Roma and already scored a crucial goal vs Shaktar. Let’s hope the Pharaoh guides the wolves to the Champions League once again. Follow the Mighty Mohawk!


SES Spikes vs. Taddei's Bardem

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    El Shaarawy
    (313 votes)
  • 27%
    (118 votes)
431 votes total Vote Now

Riccardo Calafiori's American Pyscho (#4) vs. Radja’s Bleached Mohawk (#5)

Photo by Silvia Lore/Getty Images

Riccardo Calafiori may only be 18-years-old but his current look somewhat resembles Christian Bale's look from the 2000 film American Pyscho. I'm probably too old to pass judgment on any hairstyle worn by a kid born in the 21st century, but Calafiori is making this style work. Now, if we can just get this kid on the pitch!

We could probably do an entire bracket challenge based on Nainggolan alone. From completely shorn to a faux hawk to a real mohawk to this bleached variety, Radja Nainggolan has been peacocking his way up and down the peninsula for 15 years now, but when I think of Nainggolan, this is the first image that pops up in my head. The cut and color were the perfect finish to his outrageous on the pitch persona.


Calafiori's American Pyscho vs. Nainggolan's Bleached Mohawk

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    (78 votes)
  • 82%
    (358 votes)
436 votes total Vote Now

Okay, there you have it—16 of the best and most unique hairstyles in recent Roma history. The first round of voting will wrap up on Saturday evening before we move into the quarterfinals on Sunday.