Marouane Fellaini sent the football world into meltdown last night when he posted an image of his new blond hairstyle.
Fans asked if the midfielder was attempting to disguise himself from new Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho. Others asked if he had sought inspiration from the Romania 1998 World Cup squad.
Search on Twitter long enough and you might find one person who likes ‘Blond Felli’, but the general view is that Fellaini has had a nightmare.
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The 28-year-old unveiled his new look ahead of Belgium’s bid to win Euro 2016. The Red Devils are seen as underdogs in the tournament, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku being standout talents.
And Fellaini will be desperate for Belgium to go far in the tournament. Not just because he fancies some personal success, but because he might not be well received upon his return to Belgium.
According to Belgian football writer Wesley Muyldermans, writing for 101GreatGoals, Fellaini’s blond afro has caused an “economic catastrophe” in the European country.
Why? Well, because Fellaini’s black wig is one of the most marketable products and without it, Belgium businesses have a problem.
It’s quite a humorous story. What do all the companies that have manufactured black wigs to sell do now? Dye them blond? Cut them in an attempt to recreate Axel Witsel’s shorter afro? Fellaini’s caused a right problem!
Courtois is optimistic
Belgium, second in FIFA’s World Rankings, are seen as certain contenders to win Euro 2016, which gets underway in France on Friday.
Although Belgium have never won a major tournament, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is confident that Marc Wilmots’ men can end their long way for international success.
“I’m very much looking forward to the tournament. It's the second one for our generation, and after the World Cup when we reached the quarter-final, we felt we could do better," the goalkeeper told Chelsea’s website, per FourFourTwo.
“The hope this year is to go as far as possible. It'll be very hard, there are lots of top teams and you need sometimes to be a bit lucky. We go there and we think we are one of the teams that could win it, but of course we have to go step by step.
“We have a good side and we can go far but we must go step-by-step and approach every game like a final. A lot of it is about momentum. If you win your first game you feel in the mood and you are ready to do great things. Sometimes it is luck on the day that helps you or doesn’t help you.”
There’s enough intrigue around this Belgium team even without there being a player sporting a blond afro in the squad.