Ronaldo Nazaro, also known as R9, is undoubtedly one of the best players ever in the history of football. While the skills he showcased on the pitch surely swept fans off their feet, some of the decisions that the incredible Brazilian footballer made were rather questionable.
The most notable one occurred in 2002, when he debuted the R9 haircut, one of the strangest hairstyles a footballer has ever worn to this day! If you’ve never heard of it, then you’re in luck! Stick around until the end to find out what it looked like and why the awful R9 haircut will always remain a revolutionary meme as time passes.
What Did It Really Look Like?
It was an ordinary buzz cut with a humorous modification. This is because the hair from the middle to the back had zero hair while the strands in the front hair were allowed to have barely an inch.
For those wondering, the hairstyle was created through the assistance of a zero guard clipper and a one guard clipper respectively. The zero guard installed the bald fade, and the one guard was used in the front.
Ronaldo showcased his new haircut during Brazil’s semi-final clash against Turkey. A few days prior to the match, he showed his new hair off to his teammates at one of the training sessions. Their reactions were anything but positive, as they totally dismissed the haircut and asked R9 to go back to his old ways.
Why Ronaldo Got Exactly What He Wanted: Did The Haircut Mean Something?
Ronaldo received a lot of criticism from his own teammates, but he still stuck with the haircut, mainly since it panned out exactly in his favor.
Although R9 was always known for his skills on the pitch, injuries haunted the Brazilian’s potential as a footballer. He played for some of the most successful franchises in the association of FIFA, and added multiple individual accolades to his belt with almost all of them, but with each year came a new injury.
After suffering two knee injuries and being out for almost 2 seasons between 1999 and 2001, fans as well as the media began questioning his legacy as an athlete. While it was understandable at the time, Ronaldo found the doubts rather overwhelming and found the simplest solution to trim off some of the negative attention, which involved getting the R9 haircut.
Surprisingly, the idea was extremely effective. The media became more concerned about the visuals of his haircut instead of dwelling on his past injuries.
His fiery streak blazed up even more from there, as he scored in every single game that followed since the reveal of his new hair. His form ultimately won his team the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
How The R9 Haircut Surprisingly Became A Recipe For Success
The nation football team of Brazil gained a massive following after their performance in 2002 and Ronaldo was the star of the show. People adored his accomplishment so much that they started to mimic his iconic haircut to pay homage to it.
It made a surprising return in 2020 when a dad went viral for giving his son the R9 haircut. His son had initially asked for a haircut similar to that of Cristiano Ronaldo, but the father certainly misunderstood the assignment, as he gave him a haircut that was similar to O Fenomeno’s iconic one stating “There’s only one Ronaldo.”
Furthermore, after its return, Ronaldo even issued an apology last year for his bizarre haircut. He apologized to the parents of everyone that got the haircut in 2002 and said that it was a poor decision on his part.
Other Footballers Inspired By R9 Haircut
Brazilian Striker Richarlison
Major League Soccer Player Nick Mars
Brazilian Sensation Neymar
Former Liverpool Player Xherdan Shaqiri
Ronaldo’s attempt at starting a buzz cut trend was probably ill-conceived and unsuccessful, but his career was the polar opposite. He’s one of the greatest players in football history and is the best striker of all time. He’s in the same category as football legends Maradona and Pele. Even though his footwork, dribbling, prolific goal scoring and playmaking habits will be remembered until the end of time, we won’t be too surprised if his awfully surprising R9 haircut also takes a fair share of the attention.