Photo: Catherine Ivill (Getty)

David Silva has long been one of the most aesthetically pleasing players in soccer, mostly because he is a wizard with the ball at his feet but also due to a handsome look that married strong, angular facial features with what was a delightfully messy mop of hair. Then last year he buzzed off that flowing mane, which exposed a bulbous cranium and a disastrously receded hairline that his long locks had concealed. We were and have remained bummed out by this. But lo! The promise of a new and improved Silva seems right around the corner, thanks to the long awaited success of his apparent hair transplant.

Many concerned soccer fans were confused when Silva shaved his head last summer, since, because of the tricky way he styled his long hair, his Dracula-esque hairline wasn’t very noticeable. If people can only kind of tell you’re balding with your current haircut, the thinking went, why cut the rest off to make your hair loss way more evident? However, certain eagle-eyed spectators like the folks in the Hair Loss Talk message board noted almost immediately that Silva’s curious decision to shave his head was more explicable if you considered it the first step toward a transplant.

You could find evidence of Silva’s hair transplant even back then, right after he cut his hair originally. Take this in-game snap from August 12, 2017:

Photo: Dan Istitene (Getty)

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Note the red, acne-like dots that start right around his natural hairline and repeat outward in a pattern than would extend to a fuller hairline.

Also check out this photo from about a week later, on August 21:

Photo: Stu Forster (Getty)

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If you look closely, you can see a thin red line that seems to trace out what would be an alopecia-free hairline.

A few months after Silva appears to have first undergone his transplant, you could begin to see its fruit. Check out this picture, from November of 2017, in which two skinny little bands of fresh hair grow a suspicious inch or so lower than Silva’s natural hairline:

Photo: Michael Reagan (Getty)

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This video, also from November of 2017, lays out the case with even more evidence:

Going off all this, it looks pretty certain that sometime in the summer of 2017, Silva shaved all his hair and underwent a hair transplant, probably of the Follicular Unit Transplantation (shortened to FUE) variety. From reading this FUE Q&A, you can spot many of the tell-tale signs of this kind of transplant, including the shaved head, the budding new hairs soon after, the acne-like dots along the new hairline, and, most critically, the sprouting of fuller hair some 12 months after surgery. Here’s another shot of Silva’s current hair from last month:

Photo: Shaun Botterill (Getty)

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It’s taken a good while, but going off photos of the Spaniard from this season, it looks like it’s been time and money well spent. Silva’s style of play is still as visually mesmerizing as ever, and it shouldn’t be long before his expensive new hairline makes his visage once again as gorgeous as his game. We can’t wait to see where he grows from here.