Ronaldo has revealed that his now iconic 2002 World Cup haircut was a ploy to distract media from his leg injury. The Brazil legend produced some of the best performances of his career at the global showpiece 16 years ago, notably bagging two crucial goals in the final against Germany to claim the trophy.
It wasn’t just Ronaldo’s stunning displays with the ball at his feet which live long in the memory, however. Who could forget that haircut?
‘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.’
Although the five-time world champions have not won the tournament since Ronaldo’s match-winning display back in 2002, the former Real Madrid and Barcelona striker hopes Tite’s vintage can put in a real showing in Russia this year.
‘A few national teams that always will be there in the finals like Germany, Spain, France,’ said Ronaldo, who scored a stunning 62 goals in 98 caps for Brazil. ‘All very strong teams. Let’s see. I hope Brazil can win again.
‘I’m very optimistic about the Brazilian national team. We changed a lot from the last two years … improved a lot with the new coach.