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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Ronaldo's 2002 World Cup haircut was a deliberate distraction

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Brazil legend Ronaldo has revealed that his iconic 2002 World Cup haircut was part of a scheme to distract the media from his ongoing injury troubles.

O Fenomeno turned in a man-of-the-match performance in Brazil's 2-0 win over Germany -- the last time the Selecao lifted the World Cup -- scoring both goals in a dominant display that cemented the striker as one of the greatest players of all time.

Ronaldo's haircut was a talking point throughout the tournament and now, 16 years on, he has opened up about the reasons behind such a unique style.

"I had an injury in my leg and everybody was talking about that," Ronaldo said.

"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."

Ronaldo says that his iconic haircut was part of a scheme to distract the media from his ongoing injury troubles.

Looking ahead to June's World Cup in Russia, Ronaldo is hopeful the Selecao can end its 16-year wait to win world sport's greatest prize.

"A few national teams that always will be there in the finals like Germany, Spain, France. All very strong teams," he said.

"Let's see. I hope Brazil can win again."

Ronaldo said in the increasingly international football environment, players should be scouted from every corner of the globe to help Brazil lift the World Cup once more.

"I'm very optimistic about the Brazilian national team. We changed a lot from the last two years ... improved a lot with the new coach," he said.

"We have Renato Augusto who plays in China and for the national team. [Where they play] is not the problem.

"Hulk has been a lot with Tite and I think football right now is more global than ever."

Information from AAP was used in this report.

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