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The best fan costumes at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

We are now one full week into the 2022 World Cup and heading into the final set of group-stage games. We’ve also had the chance to witness an astounding array of traditional costumes and fancy dress worn by fans of each national team, with some truly sensational outfits spotted at the tournament’s eight stadiums.

All the supporters you would expect to stand out have brought their A-games, with heavyweights such as Japan, Netherlands and the United States providing stiff competition in the running to be the best-dressed fans at the World Cup.

But the crown might well belong to the Mexico fans, who have created a vibrant sea of green, red and white in the terraces during their first two games — even if they are yet to see a win from El Tri on the pitch.

Have a look, and judge for yourself.

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Mexico

The Aztec God of Football made a rare appearance at Mexico’s first match against Poland in Doha. Alas, his influence could not steer his side to victory.

As you might expect, oversized sombreros have proved popular with patriotic El Tri supporters seeking shade out in Qatar.

Some even chose to double up by wearing their lucha libre wrestling masks underneath.

These fans made the extra effort to pair the traditional large-brimmed hat with faux-muscle vests.

But, as these supporters show with their face paint, sometimes less is more.


Japan

Japan’s support has been full of wonderful costumes with people turning out in everything from traditional clothing — such as this flag-bearing fan in a kimono — to out-of-the-box creations.

This fan seems to have taken inspiration for their costume from a kawaii-style cartoon animal.

This giant green cat costume is sweet, but it must be awfully hot in there.


Netherlands

Dutch fans always go big when it comes to dressing the part at major tournaments — they played a starring role at last year’s European Championship — and the 2022 World Cup is no exception.

As an orange-clad icon himself, Fred Flintstone appears to have been adopted as an honorary talisman of the Dutch fan base.

Elaborate spectacles are also a popular fixture among the Oranje supporters, with many favouring to embellish their colourful frames with more random accoutrements than you could imagine.

Indeed, even the country’s youngest supporters are furnished with bright orange ear defenders.


United States

The travelling US fans have also been on top form in Qatar, as shown by this shot of an eagle (aka Eagleman), Wonder Woman and Maverick in the crowd together for their team’s first game against Wales.

Benjamin Franklin and Lady Liberty herself then appeared for the USMNT’s second outing against England.

The stars and stripes have been well-represented with all the patriotic fervour you’d expect.


But it’s not just the four nations above whose fans have stood out from the stands at this World Cup in Qatar.

Every team has had its fair share of people who have gone the extra mile to show their support, even if their teams haven’t lived up to their expectations.


We’ve heard of messy hair before, sure, but MESSI hair? Outrageous.


Looks like the past few months have proved to be an especially lucrative time for Australian novelty inflatable kangaroo vendors.


When your giant foam-fries bonnet is eclipsed by a hat featuring a scale model of the Atomium museum in Brussels, you know you’re in the presence of greatness.


Fans of the Selecao always fill the stadium with carnival energy, but this flawless Ronaldo Nazario cosplay just puts the icing on the cake.


This handsome hat decorated with needle-sharp porcupine quills is as sharp as Vincent Aboubakar was when he came on in the 3-3 draw vs. Serbia.


Canada has cowpokes, too, and they know how to dress the part.


A lovely patriotic display, though we can’t help but wonder whether those carefully positioned sequins were still in place in the aftermath of the 7-0 demolition job meted out by Spain.


Red-and-white checks heaped on top of more red-and-white checks? Check.


Wearing full, fur-trimmed Viking garb in the middle of the Qatari desert is some serious commitment to the Danish cause.


Again, as beautiful as the traditional Ecuadorian “Aya Huma” masks are, we’re not sure that a heavy knitted balaclava is the most practical attire for a World Cup taking place under the Middle Eastern sun.


England

We can’t fault the festive spirit, but there are some very bold (and largely unsubstantiated) claims being made about Santa Claus on the hats of these England supporters. Isn’t Lapland in Finland?


Les Bleus fielding an intimidating back four of Bonaparte, Bonaparte, Bonaparte and Bonaparte.


Nice to see that international relations remained cordial as Germany and Japan fans shared an aperitif (presumably a Bud Zero) during their opening group-stage match.


There was some impeccable tri-colour greasepaint work (complete with additional Black Star detailing) on display among the Ghana fans.


We’re not entirely sure what emotion this wide-eyed Iran fan is experiencing, but we’d suggest that the national team follow his simple command.


These fans of the Atlas Lions were rewarded for their effort by seeing their team claim a shocking win over Belgium.


Poland

Poland played out a fairly dull 0-0 draw against Mexico in their opening game, so some fans found other ways to keep themselves entertained.


The kit Portugal are wearing at this tournament is supposed to represent the national flag wound around the wearer’s body — a design concept taken to the next level by this supporter.


Qatar

Their team may have been the first to be eliminated from this World Cup, but fans of the host nation held their own in the dressing-up stakes.


Their surprising 2-1 victory over Argentina in their opening group game was an amazing upset, but surely it’s a little early to award Saudi Arabia the trophy outright?


If these fans get their seating arrangements wrong, they could end up declaring their full-bodied support for Spanish second-division club Leganes.


The wig and face paint seemed like a much better idea before this fan watched his side get beaten 2-0 by Brazil in their first match.


Despite their team being led by the near-angelic Son Heung-Min, South Korea supporters refer to themselves as the “Red Devils,” and as such, horns are a regular sight in the stands.


Spain

The dress code for Spain fans is simple: Wear whatever you like as long as it’s dripping in the red and yellow colours of the Bandera de Espana.


Switzerland

These Swiss fans have got World Cup fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell.


Tunisia need a miracle to qualify for the next phase, but if the Eagles of Carthage do exit the World Cup at the first hurdle, they have been well represented by their supporters.


Too much shouting left this Uruguay fan a little horse. The other fan is wearing a nice wig, though.


Wales

This is not technically a costume, but this fan’s commitment to their fandom of Gareth Bale deserves highlighting.