Everton’s Marouane Fellaini is a formidable looking man. If Fellaini was to ever suffer from the illness alopecia he would still stand at an imposing 6ft 4 inches tall. That said, if you add the Belgian’s incredible current hair mass to his ‘bald height’ you’re looking at a man that stands at approximately 8 feet tall.
Most people would think that it would be a benefit to possess a haircut that would mean living your life safe in the knowledge that you would never have to think of a clever hiding place to store your valuables. Fellaini himself however, paints a picture on the contrary, a picture of hair discrimination, particularly when it comes to football referees. "During my first season at Everton I got 12 bookings. At the end of it a delegation of referees visited the club to explain why I had got so many yellow cards.”
"But they ended up admitting some of the bookings were unduly harsh. I ask myself why they get given to me.”
"No doubt it's because I am not someone who can pass by unnoticed. I am tall, and my hairstyle is easily recognised. I know how to give defenders problems. I can see them keeping a special eye on me - they are frightened of me."
The 25 year old midfielder has been in impressive form this season, scoring 11 goals and attracting transfer rumours linking him with English football’s biggest clubs. His latest misdemeanour with an official though landed Fellaini with a three match ban. But the repercussions of his headbutt, on Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross, didn’t just finish with the FA’s punishment. The Belgian has shed light into manager David Moyes’ tough approach to discipline at Everton by revealing, “Afterwards I couldn't even go back to Belgium for Christmas. David Moyes made me train on my own as I had penalised the rest of the team. Luckily for me Everton won two of the three games while I was suspended."
It is not only on the field where Fellaini’s afro magnetism draws attention. Fans of football across the whole of the British Isles are drawn to his hair like drunkards to ‘Chicken Cottage,’ and as you might expect Fellaini has experienced the good, the bad and the ugly. "I like the fact that Everton fans wear wigs in my honour. It shows they identify with me, and it is pleasing to be recognised,"
"(But) the English are crazy about the game. It's good, but it exceeds the limits at times. For example, a guy stopped me in the street to show me the Everton tattoos on his back. And sometimes there is trouble with fans of other clubs if you go out in the evening.”
"On one occasion a Liverpool fan had nothing better to do than pull my hair - once, twice, five times - and it got annoying. I felt it best to go home in order to avoid any trouble."
The obvious answer for Fellaini’s troubles would be to get his hair cut. But Fellaini wouldn’t be Fellaini without it.
image: © nicksarebi