As Cristiano Ronaldo turns 30, let's take a look at how time has treated some of the game's biggest stars. Spoiler: Some have aged better than others. Slide to reveal

2003 / 2014

Cristiano Ronaldo

As a teenager, Ronaldo burst onto the scene with highlights in his lustrous locks. Since then, we've seen Alice bands come and go but the one constant has been the product. Lots and lots of product. In every sense of the word, the 30-year-old is one slick operator. Getty Images

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2005 / 2014

Lionel Messi

As Messi, now 27, has got older, his hair has got shorter. The basic style has remained pretty consistent over the years but there is no doubt that the flowing locks, with which he burst onto the scene almost a decade ago, have been replaced by a more business-like short back and sides. Getty Images

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2004 / 2014

Cesc Fabregas

There aren't too many words to describe the wonder that was the "style" sported by Fabregas as a youngster at Arsenal. His hair has got shorter and shorter since then and, indeed, he had a buzz cut in his early days at Chelsea. However, we wonder if, like us, a part of the now-27-year-old longs for a return to his "glory days." Getty Images

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2007 / 2014

Gareth Bale

As a 16-year-old at Southampton, Bale's coiffure was very much from the boy band school. Years later, his arrival at Real Madrid coincided with an apparent effort to evolve into Cristiano Ronaldo, with hair a fundamental factor in the transformation. Now 25, his latest effort has seen him grow it out to 2005 levels of length and accessorising. Getty Images

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2009 / 2014


In contrast to his Barcelona teammate Messi, Neymar began with a conservative look before taking more chances as he got older. The close cut he wore while establishing himself at Santos gave way to a lion-like mane (there was a hair band spell too) before reaching what we have now which, at the age of 22, appears a compromise between the aforementioned looks. Getty Images

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2002 / 2014

Tim Howard

For a while, if you turned Howard's head upside down, it looked like it did a decade ago. But that was before that beard became the dominant feature of the goalkeeper's entire body. This is largely a hair-based exercise but, with the 35-year-old all-American hero, it is his chin which has seen the most activity thanks to his follicles' southern migration. Getty Images

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1998 / 2014

Andrea Pirlo

Talking of hirsute faces, Pirlo's beard is arguably even more famous than that of Howard. Flowing freely, the 35-year-old playmaker's hair has shone over the years but the advent of his beard has coincided with his establishment as the football hipster's go-to hero. Getty Images

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2003 / 2014

Arjen Robben

Even when he had hair, there was always the suspicion that Robben's locks did not have great staying power and so time has proved. By contrast, his once slight but injury-prone figure has filled out and, at the age of 31, Robben now shows durability which was difficult to foresee during his early career. And then there are those tights... Getty Images

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2002 / 2014

Wayne Rooney

Oh, Wayne, where to start? The early signs were that drastic action would need to be taken down the line on his shaven head and, sure enough, 2011 saw Rooney undergo a hair transplant. Two years later, he had more surgery and the result is what we see today. Rooney, who turns 30 in October, said after his first procedure: "I was going bald at 25 why not." Why not indeed? Getty Images

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2001 / 2014

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

With seemingly as many haircuts as he has had clubs -- and won league titles -- no feature of this kind would be complete without the man known as "Ibra." The 33-year-old Swede currently wears up what was once down and his upper body has also evolved over time as tattoo artists have added their work to its canvas. He would tell you it's the best of haircuts. Getty Images

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