As the UEFA European Championship 2016 kicks off in Paris this evening, at AllSole HQ we’ve been debating who would make it into our European 11 of the most stylish footballers of all time. While most eyes may be drawn towards the events on the field at the Stade de France, we’ve taken a look through the glittering history of European football for the players, past and present, whose style game carries as much flair, creativity and elegance as their on-field talents. Without further ado, AllSole gives you the 11 most stylish men ever to grace European football:
Raul Meireles - Portugal
An eccentric dresser who gets it wrong about as many times as he gets it right, former Liverpool and Chelsea midfielder Raul Meireles is one of the boldest and most daring of fashionistas. Plus, that beard…
Claudio Marchisio – Italy
A classy football who has played at the top level with Juventus for over a decade, Claudio Marchisio is typically Italian in his impeccable sartorial taste. While he might be a dynamic midfielder who likes to get stuck in on the pitch, Il Principino never looks anything but flawless once the final whistle has sounded.
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Zinedine Zidane – France
Considered one of the greatest footballers ever to grace world football, Zizou has demonstrated a completely new side to his game since going into management at Real Madrid. Zidane has been spotted scouting the touchline in designer suits fine enough to inspire envy in any man, with tailored pants that have infamously been slightly too tight on a couple of occasions this season.
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Thierry Henry - France
Since hanging up his boots, former Arsenal and France hotshot Thierry Henry has moved into coaching as well as punditry on Sky Sports. Beside Gary Neville, Jamie Redknapp and Jamie Carragher, Henry forms a quartet of stylish-conscious ex-pros who all seem to be hooked up with an excellent tailor. Nevertheless, Henry always manages to exude the va-va-voom to put him one step ahead of his opponents in terms of style, as he did when he was on the pitch.
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David Beckham – England
An obligatory inclusion on such a list, David Beckham has long been regarded as one of the world’s most stylish men per se. Despite the darker days of the blonde Mohican at the 2002 World Cup and the later ponytail, Beckham’s sense of style only seems to be getting better with age, as proved by his recent shoots with Belstaff.
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Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal
While he may be the embodiment of the modern athlete in his meticulous regime and conditioning, CR7 carries off timeless style with aplomb when he is not tearing through defences on the football field. Ronaldo followed Beckham’s trend of moving from Manchester to Madrid in 2009, and he may well be following Beckham’s rise to the upper echelons of the style game.
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Andrea Pirlo – Italy
Football, wine and designer suits—Andrea Pirlo is a man famed for his love of the finer things in life. As well as being one of Italy’s most decorated players of all time, Pirlo owns his own vineyard in Brescia, is a best-selling author and stands out as one of football’s best dressed men. I mean, how many of us can pull off a pair of pink swim shorts? A true winner.
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Xabi Alonso – Spain
A metronomic midfield maestro for Spain and German champions Bayern Munich, Xabi Alonso knows exactly how to go between casual and smart in complete elegance. From the casual jeans-and-a-tee and Lederhosen to a sharp suit, Mr. Alonso has won the hearts of football fans around the world with the elegance he oozes on and off the field.
Photo Credit: Luis Barta
Pep Guardiola – Spain
A legendary player during his time at Barcelona and arguably outdoing his reputation as a player with his work as a manager, there seems to be nothing Pep Guardiola cannot do. Style is another one of Guardiola’s fortes, and no matter how impassioned he might get on the touchline his attire somehow manages to remain picture perfect.
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George Best – Northern Ireland
Something of a wizard on the wings for Manchester United, George Best’s career was unfortunately blighted by his off-pitch celebrity lifestyle. When he was out enjoying the fame of his footballing career (e.g. watching the Stones live on Top of the Pops as below), Best was a sharp dresser who embodied the colourful style of the swinging sixties. With his long hair, dashing looks and refined sense of style, George Best can safely be regarded as one of football’s most iconic style icons.
Photo Credit: Bob Thomas/Getty Images
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