Brazilian football legend Ronaldo has revealed the truth behind that infamous 2002 World Cup hairstyle and the role it played in helping the Selecao lift the trophy that year.
Il Phenomeno finished the tournament in Japan and South Korea as top scorer, netting eight goals including two strikes in the Selecao’s 2-0 win over Germany in the final.
Now, 16 years on, Ronaldo has revealed the crucial role his crap hairstyle played in that success. A strange, semi-circle-shaped patch of hair located at the front of his head, the hairdo was mocked by many and imitated by few.
But according to Ronaldo, that was all part of the plan.
Coming into the tournament of the back of an injury-ravaged couple of years in Italy with Inter Milan and with memories of Ronaldo’s no-show at the 1998 World Cup final still fresh in the mind, the Brazilian came up with the perfect media distraction.
“I had an injury in my leg and everybody was talking about that,” Ronaldo said. “I decided to cut my hair and leave the small thing there. I come to training and everybody saw me with bad hair.
“Everybody was talking about the hair and forgot about the injury. I could stay more calm and relaxed and focused on my training.
“I’m not proud about the hair itself because it was pretty strange. But it was a good way to change the subject.”
It certainly did the trick, with Ronaldo ending the tournament as top scorer and winning a World Cup to boot.
Maybe Gareth Southgate should consider taking the clippers to Harry Kane’s slicked back barnet? Just a thought.
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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.