The 2002 World Cup was pretty strange, looking back at it.
France entered the tournament as the firm favourites but finished bottom of their group after securing one point from a possible nine. The much-fancied Argentina, managed by the impressive Marcelo Bielsa, also failed to escape their group despite their magnificent showing in qualifying.
That World Cup started unusually early (May 31) in order to avoid clashing with the rainy season in South Korea and Japan, so many of the European-based players were running on empty by the time the tournament rolled around. Really, they all required another week of rest, recuperation and training because the quality of the tournament suffered.
Meanwhile, Turkey and joint-hosts South Korea both reached the semi-finals, before Brazil saw off a pretty poor Germany side in the final.
Ronaldo scored both goals in the final to cement his reputation as a bonafide football legend.
Ronaldo won the Golden Ball - despite his awful haircut
The world-class striker, who moved to Real Madrid from Inter Milan later that summer, scored eight goals in total during the tournament to earn himself the prestigious Golden Ball award.
And he scored eight goals despite sporting arguably the worst haircut in World Cup history.
Look at the state of it…
Ronaldo reveals the reason behind *that* haircut
Almost 15 years later on El Fenomeno has finally revealed why he opted to keep that bizarre triangular patch of hair on his head, rather than shave it all off.
And to be fair, there’s a pretty good reason.
“My groin was hurting. I was only at 60%. So I shaved my head,” Ronaldo was quoted as telling ESPN Brazil by Dream Team.
“Everybody was only talking about my injury. When I arrived in training with this haircut everybody stopped talking about the injury.”
He was only at 60 per cent fitness and he still managed to score eight goals.
It would have been carnage had he been fully fit.
How Ronaldo won the Golden Ball
Ronaldo scored four goals in the group stages - against Turkey, Costa Rica and China - before netting his fifth goal of the tournament in the Round of 16.
He didn’t score against England in the quarter-finals, but netted the only goal of the game against Turkey in the semis before his brace past Olivier Kahn in the final.News Now - Sport News