Among the many extraordinary things Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, commonly known as Ronaldo or R9, is famous for, one is his shambolic haircut in 2002. After scoring in every match of the group stage and the round of 16 of the 2002 FIFA World Cup for Brazil, Ronaldo was looking in top form. However, he had just come out of a serious injury. People continued to talk about how his injury might still affect him after he limped off in the quarterfinal.
“I had an injury in my leg and everybody was talking about that,” Ronaldo said (via ESPN).
So, R9 did something outrageous. He came into the semifinal against Turkey with a horrific haircut. However, it was surprisingly part of a genius plan.
“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.”
With the cameras away from his injury and focused on a bad haircut, he went on to score the winner against Turkey. He also scored a winning brace in the final that Brazil won 2-0 against Germany. It is important to note that the pressure from the media apparently made him have seizures in the 1998 World Cup. This distraction for the media was immense for him to perform without pressure.
What was Ronaldo’s 2002 haircut called?
It has been said that the haircut was inspired by a character named Cascão. It was a character from the Brazilian cartoon series Turma da Mônica. However, Neymar loved the haircut and even had it and so did Roberto Firmino.
“The haircut of Ronaldo was good. I had it!” Neymar revealed to Gerard Pique on The Players’ Tribune. “All of us, we were all looking like Ronaldo.”
The haircut resembles the southside fade hairstyle. However, the one Ronaldo had has no specific name attached to it. Looking back, Ronaldo has openly admitted he hates the haircut.
“It’s very ugly that haircut, he would look much nicer if he just shaved it all off”, Sonia Nazario told La Nación (via AS). “[His own son] didn’t know who he was! He looked at him and couldn’t believe he was looking at his dad.”
“It was horrible! I apologise to all the mothers who saw their children get the same haircut…” pic.twitter.com/62CnWoAV34
— Players Sayings (@PlayersSayings) July 28, 2022
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Ronaldo even apologized to mothers of sons who copied his hairstyle. R9 was really embarrassed by his own haircut.
Where is R9 now?
A two-time FIFA World Cup winner, R9, has continued his connections with soccer to the present day. He is now a businessman as he owns Brasileiro Série A club Cruzeiro. He is also the president of the La Liga club Real Valladolid.
In September 2018, Ronaldo became a majority owner of the club Real Valladolid. During his unveiling, he said, “I have gone through many stages in my training in football to prepare for this. Football is all about passion. We want to build the best team possible to compete while also giving information about our management with transparency.”
In December 2021, he bought a controlling stake in his boyhood club, Cruzeiro. He invested $70 million in the club. He said that he wanted to give back to the club that gave him a beginning to an illustrious career.