Messi, Neymar and Co.: football stars with cult haircuts

Lionel Messi wears Ronaldo’s iconic hairstyle at the 2002 World Cup in a FIFA photo montage.

They all look like… FIFA published a series of photos of soccer stars in the cult look of Brazilian storm legend Ronaldo on Twitter. His appearance at the 2002 World Cup is remembered.

Summer break, football-free time: the perfect opportunity for the pros to rack their brains over a fresh new haircut. And if you look at the official account of the football World Cup on Twitter, then the biggest of their kind obviously have the same taste.

Lionel Messi (34), Cristiano Ronaldo (37), Neymar (30) or the former Bundesliga striker Heung-min Son (29): In the published photos they all remind of storm legend Ronaldo, who only played Brazil in 2002 with the narrow Stripes of hair on his forehead for the world title in Japan and South Korea.

Ronaldo’s hairstyle at the 2002 World Cup achieved cult status

The striker styled the hairdo ahead of the semi-final against Turkey to deflect the domestic press from rumors of muscular problems.

“I asked my teammates if they liked it but they just said no, this is terrible. Get rid of that,” he recalled last year of the optically debatable move, which, in terms of sport, really worked out.

Ronaldo stayed fit for the two crucial games, scoring goals for the Selecao in both the 1-0 win against Turkey and the 2-0 win against Germany in the final. To the horror of their parents, young Ronaldo fans in particular then copied the Ronaldo hairstyle, including the then nine-year-old Antonio Rüdiger (29), as the national player revealed last year.

FIFA gives football stars the Ronaldo hairstyle from 2002

But what inspires the superstars to collectively switch to the Ronaldo cut? Nothing at all, as a closer look at Twitter reveals. FIFA has been reviving special moments and experiences from the World Cup 20 years ago there for days – including the Ronaldo hairstyle.

The world football association’s social media team used a photo montage to give various stars the iconic Ronaldo cut, which sometimes sits better, sometimes worse on the forehead.

“Sonaldo”, the mixture of Ronaldo and Son, caused particular enthusiasm, as the Portuguese Twitter account of Tottenham Hotspur aptly wrote.

The current employer of the superstar from South Korea collected almost 35,000 likes with the photo, 2,300 people shared the post and hundreds commented – some amused, some surprised.

While Neymar or Bayern striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (33) could definitely wear the unfamiliar haircut, the look of Lionel Messi or Christian Pulisic (23) takes a lot of getting used to.

Good to know: At the moment, none of the professionals who have been styled with photo montages are suspected of being inspired by the FIFA idea for the Winter World Cup in Qatar. And Antonio Rüdiger, when he confessed his childhood sin, also hinted that another Ronaldo strip is no longer an option for him today. (bc)