Date 12 July 1998
The time is 4 pm
Specifically, 5 hours before the World Cup final between France and Brazil, the match that the whole world is waiting for, which will be held at Saint-Denis under the gaze of then French President Jacques Chirac.
Everyone is in anticipation, waiting to see the phenomenon Ronaldo, the star of Brazil and the best player in the world at the time, who scored 4 goals in the tournament.
The Brazilian national team arrived at the hotel on the day of the match in the morning, things are going well and quietly and there are no problems.
Suddenly… they heard a screaming sound coming from one of the hotel corridors, specifically in front of Ronaldo’s room.
Everyone ran quickly to find out what had happened and what was the reason for the screaming. They find Roberto Carlos screaming and screaming in an attempt to save his roommate Ronaldo.
The players, the coach and the team doctor quickly broke into the room and found Ronaldo lying on the floor in a state of near death.
White foam is coming out of his mouth, and the Brazil striker appears to be on his last breath.
Edmundo, the Brazilian national team striker, quickly moved towards him and tried to prevent Ronaldo from swallowing his tongue.
A disaster befell the World Cup holder, Brazil, a few hours before the World Cup final.
A case of convulsions similar to epilepsy in which Ronaldo entered, and quickly, the doctor, Lidio Toledo, decided to transfer him to the nearest hospital in an attempt to save him.
Here, everyone was sure that Ronaldo was out of the game and it was impossible to play.
Ronaldo underwent quick tests, and the result was correct, and confirmed that the phenomenon striker does not suffer from anything, and what happened to him is just a slight fatigue.
Ronaldo returned to the hotel and did not regain consciousness and appeared very tired, and the team doctor and coach Mario Zagallo agreed to leave him asleep and not tell him anything when he woke up.
Ronaldo regained consciousness and still feels very tired. He drank a cup of tea to help him wake up. The doctor told him what had happened. His teammate Leonardo spoke to him and the two told him that he would not participate in the World Cup final.
Ronaldo tells: “When I woke up, the last thing I remembered was that I decided to take a rest after lunch before going into a convulsion. I could feel the players and the doctor around me but I couldn’t say a word.”
“When I returned to the hotel, I told them to let me sleep and rest a bit, and when I woke up I went to the hotel garden to walk with my colleague Leonardo and he told me everything and assured me that I would not participate in the match.”
“I went to coach Zagallo and told him that I was fine and wanted to participate in the match, and I did not leave him with any other choice until he agreed to my decision.”
Zagallo had already sent the list of players for the match, and Ronaldo was outside the starting line-up, and in his place came Edmundo.
But Ronaldo actually participated and appeared as a ghost in the match, and the Brazilian team lost 3-0 to Zidane and his companions and under the follow-up of Jacques Chirac.
To this day, there is no clear and explicit truth about what happened to Ronaldo before the match and the reason for his participation in the final despite his poor health.
A lot of gossip, rumors and accounts have been said about this incident, and none of them are confirmed yet.
The first thing that was said was that Ronaldo was suffering from a knee injury and because of it he was given analgesic injections, which caused his convulsions.
But the Brazilian doctor confirmed that the last injection Ronaldo got was before the Morocco match in the group stage, and if this injection had any side effects, they would have appeared long before the final match.
And the strangest thing is what you will read now from the rumors about the Ronaldo incident and its causes.
The Independent newspaper said that before the match, the president of the Brazilian Football Confederation went to the dressing room after many negotiations with Nike, the sponsor of the team.
And he was trying hard to force Ronaldo to play the match, because if he did not participate, Brazil would lose a lot of the sponsorship contract and its value at the time was 80 million dollars.
Indeed, 40 minutes before the match, Ronaldo announced that he was ready to participate and began to warm up with the rest of the players.
Mario Zagallo, the coach of Brazil at the time, said during his interrogation: “If I was put again in the same situation, I would agree to Ronaldo’s participation, because people would have held me responsible for the loss if I had not pushed him.”
As for the Guardian newspaper, it claimed that Brazil sold the match and the championship to France, especially since Jacques Chirac was present in the stands.
And Blatter agreed with Jacques Chirac to crown France so that Chirac could solve the social problems that his country suffers from.
In return, Brazil will be put on a very easy path in the 2002 World Cup until it wins the championship and then Brazil will host the World Cup a few years later.
With Brazil winning the 2002 World Cup and hosting 2014, some believed this theory.
Another theory is that the Brazilian government intervened with Ronaldo’s participation in order to avoid popular anger.
And the last thing that was said about the Ronaldo incident, and the most prevalent at the time, was that what happened to him was due to a romantic relationship with his ex-girlfriend, Susanna Werner.
Some said that Ronaldo spent the entire night before the match with her, and that everything that happened to him was due to staying up until the morning of the match.
After the World Cup, Ronaldo separated from his girlfriend, who married Julio Cesar, the Brazilian goalkeeper.
So far, there is no version of the stories that were said about the Ronaldo incident before the World Cup final, and it was confirmed, even if by a large percentage.
Here ended the story of Ronaldo’s participation in the 98th World Cup with Brazil.
The phenomenon Ronaldo also participated in the World Cup with Brazil in 2002 in South Korea and Japan, as well as 2006 in Germany.
He was on Brazil’s list in the 1994 World Cup, but he did not play any minute and he was only 17 years old, and with Samba he won the gold medal and the World Cup title against Italy.
In the 2002 and 2006 editions, Ronaldo had strange stories, happy and sad.
But these stories made Ronaldo legend appear with the Brazil national team at the World Cup.
A strange haircut and the World Cup title for the second time
After what Ronaldo went through in the 98 World Cup, he had to participate in the 2002 World Cup with Brazil, although he did not play throughout the season, except for 10 matches in the Italian league with his team, Inter Milan, due to the large number of injuries he suffered.
Ronaldo entered the World Cup in Korea and Japan, and he is not in his best condition.
He scored in the first match against Turkey, scored in the second match against China, and put a double against Costa Rica in the last group stage match.
Now everyone is sure that Ronaldo is in the best technical, healthy and physical condition and in full focus.
Ronaldo continued to shine and scored goals in the round of 16 and put a goal in the net against Belgium.
Brazil qualified for the eighth round to face England, but Ronaldo did not score, and Rivaldo and Ronaldinho led Samba to the semi-finals.
And when Ronaldo does not score with Brazil, events are born.
Some started talking about Ronaldo’s decline and that he played the match with a knee injury, which affected him.
And that everyone is waiting for the Brazil national team match against Turkey in the semi-finals to monitor Ronaldo and see if the injury will affect him or not.
But Ronaldo devised a very clever plan to escape from this matter and divert attention from his injury and direct it towards something else.
Ronaldo entered the last training of the Brazilian national team before confronting Turkey, and everyone looked at him in the training of the Brazilian national team with strangeness and astonishment.
Ronaldo gave himself a new haircut.
At this time, the trends in hair styles were either leaving the hair to lengthen, dyeing it with one of the colors, or shaving it in any strange way.
Ronaldo decided to shave his entire hair and leave a triangle-shaped piece of hair on the front of his head without shaving. It is also not a triangle by the way.
This was the most important event in the 2002 World Cup.
Ronaldo managed to divert attention from his knee injury and turn it into his new haircut.
Ronaldo says: “I had a leg injury and everyone was talking about it, so I decided to cut my hair and leave this little thing, and when I came to training everyone saw me with something hair.”
. added “Everyone was talking about my hair and completely forgot about the injury, and here I could have stayed calmer and relaxed and was able to focus well on training.”
continued “I’m not proud of the hair itself because it was so weird, but it was a good way to change the subject and keep everyone from talking about my injury.”
With the cameras away from focusing on his injury and more attention to his new haircut, Ronaldo managed to score the winning goal against Turkey in the semi-finals.
Then he scored the double of Brazil’s victory over Germany in the World Cup final and led Samba to achieve the last World Cup 20 years ago.
After the World Cup, Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid in a historic deal at the time, which amounted to 46 million euros.
Ronaldo was not embarrassed when he talked about his haircut in the 2002 World Cup and openly admitted that he was inspired by this story from a cartoon character in Brazil called cascão turma da monica.
After that, Ronaldo’s haircut became a fashion for many young people and children who love football and Brazil around the world.
Headaches, excess weight and historical goals
Ronaldo’s career with the 2006 World Cup began early, after he starred with Brazil in the South American qualifiers and led Samba to the top at the expense of Argentina.
And that was during the famous match against Argentina, during which he scored 3 “hat-trick” goals from 3 penalty kicks.
Ronaldo joined the Brazil squad for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, and was at the time returning from an injury that kept him out of Real Madrid in the last two months of the season.
Ronaldo appeared in poor physical condition and was far from the required physique and his weight was excessive.
Ronaldo was part of the devastating offensive quartet for the Brazilian national team.
In attack Ronaldo and Adriano, on the right Ricardo Kaka and on the left Ronaldinho.
Ronaldo participated in Brazil’s first match against Croatia and appeared at a weak level.
Criticism began to extend to Ronaldo because of his increased weight, and turned to coach Carlos Alberto Pereira, who was determined to involve him in the matches.
While preparing for the second match against Australia, Ronaldo fell ill, reminding everyone of what happened to him before the 1998 World Cup final.
Ronaldo missed a training session for the Brazilian national team and went to a medical clinic after suffering severe headaches and dizziness.
The headache required Ronaldo for several days, which affected him in Brazil training.
The Brazilian Football Confederation issued a statement on Ronaldo’s health, saying: “Ronaldo complained of feeling dizzy and was taken to a medical clinic for a medical examination and to check on him.”
“No health crisis was detected for Ronaldo and he was allowed to continue training.”
Brazil coach Carlos Alberto said: “I trust Ronaldo and he will play the next match against Australia, he needs more participation after he was absent from matches for two months.”
“Ronaldo has only played two friendlies in two months, so it was normal for him to feel some weight and the atmosphere was very hot, but I’m sure he will improve as the tournament continues.”
“Ronaldo will start the game against Australia because he needs to speed up, and he is a crucial player for us.”
Ronaldo said about it: “Honestly, I was not happy with my performance against Croatia, but the most important thing is that we won.”
. added “In the next match I hope to do things a little better.”
Ronaldo participated against Australia and did not score for the second match in a row.
The criticism continued towards Ronaldo and coach Carlos Alberto after the match, until Ronaldo regained some of his level against Japan in the last group match.
Ronaldo scored two goals in Brazil’s four-way victory over Japan.
Brazil qualified for the round of 16 and played against Ghana. The World Cup holders won the treble and Ronaldo scored the first goal of the samba in a superb manner in the fifth minute after evading the goalkeeper.
Ronaldo’s goal made him the all-time top scorer of the World Cup with 15 goals, surpassing Gerd Muller, the legend of Germany.
In the quarter-finals, Brazil clashed with France, in a replay of the 1998 World Cup final.
A good chance to avenge the 3-0 loss to Zidane’s comrades 8 years ago in Paris, and now the match is in a neutral stadium in Germany.
But Zidane carried France on his shoulders and manipulated all the Brazilian stars during the match and made the roosters’ victory goal scored by Thierry Henry.
And here ended Ronaldo’s participation with Brazil in the World Cup tournaments.
And it took Miroslav Klose, the star of the German national team, 8 years later to break Ronaldo’s record as the world’s top scorer with 16 goals, one goal behind Al Dhahirah.