The 2002 World Cup was arguably the most eventful – from South Korea’s incredible run in the competition to Roy Keane taking an early flight back home after a heated row with Ireland boss Mick McCarthy.
But apart from the many aspects of the sport that brought surprises, the most unreal surprise was Ronaldo de Lima’s shocking haircut. The Brazilian arrived in the co-hosted competition in Asia with his head shaved, leaving just an odd patch above his forehead.
Obviously, fans and Ronaldo’s teammates themselves were puzzled, as it was definitely an odd looking fashion statement, to say the least. And surprisingly, the Brazilian international had a pretty logical explanation behind it.
“I decided to cut my hair and leave the small thing there. I come to training and everybody saw me with bad hair,” the forward reportedly said [via Sport Bible].
“Everybody was talking about the hair and forgot about the injury. I could stay more calm and relaxed and focused on my training.”
Turns out the deadly goalscorer’s misdirection skills worked, as him carrying an injury no longer became the centre of attention. Additionally, the former Real Madrid superstar delivered his country the World Cup, finishing the campaign with an incredible 8 goals.
Though in retrospect, the striker has some regrets about his decision, as he admitted: “I’m not proud about the hair itself because it was pretty strange. But it was a good way to change the subject.”
Nevertheless, the idea worked, and that’s all that matters.