As well as dazzling with their skills out on the field of play, the stars of the FIFA Women's World Cup™ have also been catching the eye in the style stakes. And while their counterparts in the men’s game often opt for outlandish boots, tattoos and hairstyles to set them apart, it is the latter that has been particularly to the fore here at Germany 2011.      

Arguably the most practical and comfortable hairstyle for longer locks is the ponytail and, as our gallery of photos shows, a little imagination can take the look a long way. With players turning to hair bands, coloured ribbons and braids, Sweden’s Jessica Landstrom has gone for a daring approach of shaving her jet-black hair short at the sides, while keeping it long on top.

Australia’s Sally Shipard, for her part, has chosen a shorter, spikier look, France’s Elodie Thomis has opted for dreadlocks held back from her face by a distinctive blue headband, while her team-mate Wendie Renard sports a highly distinctive ‘Afro’.

Winning the day, however, appear to be braided styles, such as the one exhibited by Norway keeper Ingrid Hjelmseth. And while a number of Nigerian players keep their hair in tight, fashionable braids, none of them standout quite like those of Equatorial Guinea captain Anonman, whose braids are intertwined with coloured ribbons in either red or green – depending on the colour of her side’s shirt that game.**

Though many of her team-mates prefer shorter styles, Japanese captain Homare Sawa has kept her brown hair long and wavy. With a few of her colleagues boasting highlights or dashes of colour in their predominantly dark hair, will that number have increased come the quarter-finals? Particularly as rumours have abounded that the Nadeshiko have something special planned should they reach the Final.

So, for all those women looking for an inventive, practical style, why not check out our gallery of the stars of Germany 2011 for inspiration?

Have your say
Which is your favourite style? Take a look at our gallery and let us know your thoughts.

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