Brazil legend Ronaldo Nazario has been discussing his famous 2002 World Cup haircut – apologizing to ‘all the mothers’ worldwide
It’s a mea culpa that goes back to a 19-year-old past. In 2002, Ronaldo walked the World Cup held in Japan and South Korea. Four years after Brazil’s defeat in the final to France, “Fenomeno” carried the Seleçao to their fifth world title with eight goals, including two in the final against Germany. He also stood out for his very original haircut sported from the semi-finals: a small tuft of hair on the front of the head, otherwise fully shaved.
In an interview with, the double Ballon d’Or (1997 and 2002) no longer really embraces this style.
“Horrible!” Blurted out the current club president from Valladolid, Spain. “I apologize to all the mothers who have seen their children do the same haircut.”
A haircut to hide an injury
Behind the dubious aesthetics of this hair, the choice was a real strategy. Hit in a thigh before the semi-final against Turkey, the player decided to opt for the cup in order to distract the attention of the Brazilian media from his physical problems.
“So I did the haircut,” he explains. “I saw my teammates and asked them, ‘Do you like it?’ They said, ‘No, that’s horrible! Stop that!’ But the reporters saw my haircut and forgot about the injury. ”
Four years after his seizures, he refused to take a nap before the 2002 final
The next day, Ronaldo scored the only semi-final goal against Turkey (1-0) to send Brazil to the final. Then an Inter Milan player, the legendary Brazilian striker says he was very apprehensive about the match against Germany, four years after having been seized by convulsions during his nap before the final loss to France. In 2002, he refused to sleep before the meeting.
“I was walking down the hall looking for someone to talk to me so I wouldn’t sleep, not to give me the chance for this to happen again, he explains. I found Dida (goalkeeper ) and I said, ‘Dida, stay with me, talk to me.’ And he was with me until we got on the bus to the stadium. “