Top five: Memorable World Cup final moments (4)

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3. 1998 final - The Ronaldo mystery

Football News

In 1998, Brazil once again went into a tournament as the overwhelming favourites after their victory in America four years earlier and the presence of the best player in the world, Inter Milan's Ronaldo.

'Il Fenomeno' had been in sparkling form during the tournament, scoring goals in almost every round, including a semi-final strike against the Netherlands. This was the man that was going to lead them to retain their trophy against the impressive hosts France.

However on the morning of the final, Ronaldo allegedly had a convulsive fit on the floor of his hotel room and the decision was taken to leave him out of the squad.

Less than two hours before kick-off, coach Mario Zagallo told another striker, Edmundo that he would be playing in Ronaldo's stead and his name was put on the teamsheet instead.

Ronaldo then suddenly returned from hospital declaring his wish to play and was reinstated back into the squad, amid controversial reports that his sponsors Nike had forced him to play a part in the match.

The rest, as they say, is history as a shaken Ronaldo gave an abject performance and Brazil were left shell-shocked by the brilliant hosts in a heavy 3-0 defeat. 

Conspiracy theories still rage about what actually happened to Ronaldo that day and they are not likely to go away in a hurry.

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