"My reporting colleague, Ray Stubbs, saw Pele sitting in the commentary box," Motson recalls. It is perhaps no coincidence that France's first two goals came from Zidane at set-piece corners, exploiting gaps in Brazil's disorganized defense. The latest in the sports world, emailed daily. Ronaldo was scared about what lay ahead, Roberto Carlos later told the BBC. Jorge Kajuru, a man famous in Brazil for makingprovocative statements, proposed another theory Perhaps Ronaldo's fit in France was caused by the striker freaking out after having an allergic reaction following an injection into his knee? 'It's a huge power. A typo? The drama of the moment is perhaps best summarized by the renowned BBC match commentator John Motson, who covered 10 World Cup tournaments during his broadcasting career.
'After that we went to the stadium with a message from Zagallo saying that I wouldn't play. It wasn't until several years later that Ronaldo admitted he'd experienced convulsions in his room and was unconscious for several minutes. But then it all fell to piecesthe narrative blown to bits just hours before what should have been one of the most compelling matches in football history. ', BBC commentator John Motson said live on air:'I've never had anything like this in my career', The teamsheet originally submitted before the final did not include Ronaldo as a starter. The report cites Ronaldo as having a nervous crisis the day before the final when Brazil apparently decided against medicating him due to fears it could be a doping issue. Perhaps unsurprisingly, French sabotage by drugging was alleged by multiple individuals each one lacking any meaningful evidence, of course. He said, "It was like the convulsions never happened. Motson was also calling the final in Yokohama four years later, narrating the most remarkable postscript for Ronaldo, who recovered from multiple knee injuries to score six times and then twice more in the 2002 final against Germany. After fighting back tears at full-time, Ronaldo later moped around the pitch with his Nike boots hanging from his neck, as well as a runners-up medal. The comments below have not been moderated. Play it now. We can fabricate your order with precision and in half the time. He also revealed that Ronaldo had been taking the painkiller Volaren since re-aggravating a knee injury against Morocco on June 16. And sure enough later that summer he completed a big-money move to Real Madrid, before going on to win two La Liga titles with the Spanish giants. Even at 0 he's MARTIN KEOWN INTERVIEWS STEVE BOULD: Arsenal legend and new boss of Belgian club Lommel catches up with his What REALLY happened to Ronaldo before the 1998 World Cup Final in his own words | FourFourTwo. The events of July 12, 1998, were so bizarre that they will always seem like a mystery to some, but with Dida's help, Ronaldo cracked the case in 2002. Ronaldo, widely regarded as the best striker on the planet at the time, had been left out at the expense of Fiorentina forward Edmundo. A convulsion is a sudden, violent, irregular movement of the body, caused by involuntary contraction of muscles. ', Leeds train ahead of Crystal Palace friendly in Australia, Root remains commitment to England after Stokes and Morgan retirements. I was surrounded by players and the late Dr Lidio Toledo was there. Then Leonardo asked me to go for a walk in the garden in the hotel where we were staying and explained the whole situation. We got up well, happy, and ready to play.". Financially, Nike had a lot riding on the 1998 World Cup, and the majority of their pre-tournament marketing was based around Brazil, and Ronaldo in particular. What later transpired was that the Brazilian players, who should have been preparing for the biggest match of their careers, were desperately concerned for their friend and talismanic teammate. It was unconvincingly alleged that someone may have drugged Ronaldo to boost French hopes. The supposed motive was clear though. It was while he was at the Lilas clinic that his name was omitted from the team sheet by manager Mario Zagallo. I said don't worry, calm down, because this time you're not with Roberto Carlos!" 'I asked if they could leave and go talk somewhere else because I wanted to sleep.
Brazil's players did not emerge for their pre-match warm-up and rumours were rife and wide ranging, with the strongest initially claiming that Ronaldo had an ankle injury and then a stomach complaint. Ronaldo kicks the ball to scores the first goal against Turkey during the semifinal match of the FIFA 2002 World Cup Korea Japan 26 June, 2002, in Saitama, Japan. Zinedine Zidane, pictured winning a critical header, scored twice in the first half of the final, Ronaldo's performance was below-par and the striker collided with goalkeeperFabien Barthez. A lot of talk and a spot of golf in the team hotel. I want to enjoy this and then really go for it. The boots Ronaldo wore in the final were auctioned atChristie's in London in November 2007. Conspiracy theories were rife, although unlike the claims against Nike most didn't result in court dates. His replacement, Edmundo, was sent back to the substitutes bench, but the game plan which had been hastily rearranged in the preceding hours was now discarded without any more time for a rethink. The scenes in the commentary box have been absolute mayhem and chaos. Obviously it wasn't one of the best matches in my career, but I was there to fulfil my role. I was told that I wouldn't play in the World Cup final. The matter even ended up in a subsequent government hearing, but there was never any evidence to support such a claim. "He ran down and asked him what it was all about. 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According to the tall tale, Brazil received $23m for allowing France to win the '98 World Cup on home soil. Ronaldo told the BBC in 2014 that he'd spent three hours in hospital, doing "everything that you could imagine." Motson says his abiding memory of the event was the absence of their players on the field for a warm-up. Speaking after his brace in the final, he said: 'I am very ambitious. His salvation was Dida, who this time was his roommate. The World Cup final is the worlds biggest TV show.. In return, Brazil were apparently promised that they would be given a kind draw at the 2002 finals and then be allowed to host a future World Cup, which they did in 2014. One flimsy rumour claimed that Ronaldo's fits were caused by his then-girlfriendSusana Werner having an affair with Julio Cesar. Graffiti depicting Brazilian football star Ronaldo, painted by Brazilian street artist Paulo Consentino in celebration of the FIFA 2014 World Cup. The company had invested significant resources in its agreement with Texeira and the CBF, and as per The Independent it was already common practice for them to request the full turnout of Brazils best squad at international friendlies. Alex Bellos is the author of Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life (Bloomsbury, 9.99), When Brazil's star striker fell ill just before the last World Cup final it set off a trail of questions and allegations that has yet to run its course, Original reporting and incisive analysis, direct from the Guardian every morning. The goalkeeper's recipe for success? 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Four years later, Brazil eased through a group that included China, Costa Rica and Turkey, and five years after that they were awarded the 2014 World Cup. We were all so worried and sad about him; we weren't clear on what was happening. Here are the test results, they're fine. "He said, 'Hey I'm afraid of sleeping because I don't want the same thing to happen.' The veteran commentator estimates that the events in Paris rank as the most extraordinary of his career and the intrigue continued long after that night, with one of numerous conspiracy theories suggesting that the team's new sponsor Nike had pressured Zagallo to play Ronaldo. Motson said:'I've never seen anything like this in my career. I'm not feeling anything. 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Pel and who else? Dida appeared in 91 games for Brazil and he went to three World Cups; he was a squad player in '98 and '02 and played in the Seleo's run to the quarter-finals in 2006. Someone said 'Ronaldo is not well, he went to the hospital.'". But his rest was disturbed by a worrying fit which caused his team-mates alarm. As far as we know, the July 12 seizure was the only one ever suffered by Ronaldo, and given a grooming process that took him to the 1994 World Cup as a 17-year-old (nevermind the four years of top-flight European football he played in the run-up to the 1998 competition) the idea that he suddenly broke down under pressure is curious to say the least. Published: 02:57 EDT, 13 July 2018 | Updated: 10:42 EDT, 13 July 2018. They didn't want to tell me what was going on. But the clothier had 80 million reasons to demand Ronaldo, who it sponsored, be included in Zagallos lineup. On July 12the day of the 1998 World Cup finalthe Brazilian squad had lunch in Lesigny, just outside Paris. Dante's top 3 Brazilians, Patrice Evra speaks out on racist abuse and how to combat it, 'I was close to death,' says former Liverpool star as Paris police response is in the spotlight, Patrice Evra: Former France star opens up about sexual abuse, 'Maybe we are alone': Jude Bellingham questions whether authorities 'care' about racist abuse directed at Black footballers, Aurlien Tchouamni lifts the lid on his future: 'It's a good situation to be in  But at the end it's just social media', Kylian Mbapp tells CNN Sport why he stayed with Paris Saint-Germain, Andy Scholes walks through US Soccer's landmark equal pay deal. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Was the first team sheet a mistake? Goalkeeper Dida, who was a part of the Brazil squad and who won the trophy with Ronaldo four years later, told CNN that when he arrived for the pre-match dinner, the typically joyous atmosphere of the team room had evaporated. It's not something you see every day. In the stadium, Motson's colleague, the former England striker Gary Lineker, described it as "the biggest wind-up in World Cup football history.". The hosts' victory was said to please FIFA president Sepp Blatter as it helped the tournament to be seen as a successful vehicle for social improvements in France. Ronaldo told the commission that he had felt healthy enough to play in the final, but refused to discuss terms of his contract with Nike as he said the information wasconfidential. I had test results in my hand with Dr Toledo giving the green light. Great company and great staff. 'All the essential medical examinations didn't show anything was abnormal it was like nothing had happened,' Ronaldo explained.
A lot was expected of Ronaldo. I want to play.". (CNN)It's one of the great mysteries of our time: not the Loch Ness Monster, Stonehenge or the Lost City of Atlantis; it's the case of the missing striker -- not so much a whodunit, more a kind of a what the heck happened? "The team sheets were handed around by the stewards as usual; lo and behold, Ronaldo's name was not there and everybody looking at their handout had the same reaction," Motson told CNN Sport. You see, we look after him, said Dr. Da Mata, adding, He has pain in between matcheswe give him tablets.. We are no longer accepting comments on this article. And what if the team doctors, unaware of his situation, only made things worse by prescribing pain-killers? ", "Very reliable company and very fast. Ronaldo said that after lunch on the day of the final, he didn't want to sleep, just in case. Goalkeeper Cesar and model Werner married in 2002. Whatever happened ahead of the match, what followed was a sort of awakening to the intersect of football, money and power. Despite Ronaldo insisting that he told his manager he was fine to play, there have been suggestions of commercial meddling. Ronaldo claimed he did not accept this decision and apparently told manager Mario Zagallo in no uncertain terms that he had to start. Ronaldo, already a two-time FIFA World Player of the Year at just 21-years of age, had opened the scoring just after the restart and also converted Brazils first penalty. ", The Brazilians made their way to the game without any music on the team bus, a stark indication of their concern. There had been tests, there was medicine, but in the end, there was no conclusion. He was spectacularly upstaged by a 26-year-oldZinedine Zidane, who scored twice in the first half. This is less a conspiracy theory than an attempt to pin the blame for Brazils failure against France on a single individual, and the doctors that treated him. After being greeted with a shrug by the Brazil legend in the press area, Stubbs returned to the gantry where Motson told the nation: 'Even Pele doesn't know what's going on!'. Ronaldo added that the only agreement he had with Nike was to 'wear their brand of footwear'. After that, I had a convulsion. As journalist Alex Bellos described the incident in The Guardian, Roberto Carlos shouted for help, with teammates Cesar Sampaio and Edmundo arriving quickly at the scene, the latter preventing Ronaldo from swallowing his tongue. Great people and the best standards in the business. A wild theory, said to have appeared in an email inbox at the Globo TV network, claimed that Brazil 'sold' the 1998 World Cup to France. Rumours that Nike had demanded Ronaldo's involvement in the final despite him being ill refused to go away and, shortly after the turn of the century, a Brazilian parliamentary investigation took place to look into alleged corruption. 'I want to enjoy the full pleasure of our victory, but then turn to new things I hope to achieve in football.'. Shortly after arriving back at the team hotel Ronaldo, who was sharing a room with Roberto Carlos, broke down and cried. That was the magnitude of the bombshell that landed on the Stade de France that summer's evening, 22 years ago. NewspaperFolha de S.Paulo claimed that Ronaldo had been showing signs of depression earlier in the tournament when he reportedly smashed a bike into a wall in a fit of rage. Just hours before his shock omission from Brazil's original teamsheet, Ronaldo decided to take a nap. The pressure had got to him and he couldnt stop crying..
Ronaldo was one of the biggest stars in the world game, the man Brazilian fans expected to lead them to a fifth world title. I approached Zagallo at the stadium and said: "I'm fine. Congressman: Was Ronaldo hitting out or shaking?, Edmundo: Lying down and hitting himself with his hands like this (demonstrates), with his teeth, Edmundo: Locked together and with his mouth foaming., Congressman: His whole body hitting itself?, Brazils capitulation at the 1998 World Cup was so shocking the countrys government opened an official investigation. But what if Ronaldo had covered up a pre-existing condition? We sat there in an absolute ferment for quite a long time.". As those events unfolded in front of a global television audience of hundreds of millions of fans, nobody seemed to have any idea what was going on. When Ronaldo woke up he had a cup of tea, and thanks to the intervention of teammate Leonardo he was told of his fit by Brazils medical staff. Sepp Blatter, seen holding the World Cup trophy in his right hand, wasFIFA president in 1998. Big Rom's too big! The official line from the CBF and the few players who have ever discussed what happened in the hours leading up to the 1998 World Cup final is that Ronaldo, feeling considerable pressure, got sick and, just 40 minutes prior to kick-off, pronounced himself fit to play. In all of this Nike did not interfere in any way. Our capabilities go beyond HVAC ductwork fabrication, inquire about other specialty items you may need and we will be happy to try and accommodate your needs. Theory 1: Ronaldo Was Hiding a Secret Medical Condition. Fans, reporters and commentators including BBC's John Motson were stunned 72 minutes before kick-off when news broke that Ronaldo had not been named as a starter for the final. In my time it was the army generals running Brazil who tried to pick the team, remarked 1970 World Cup-winner Tostao in conversation with The Independents David Smith in August 1998. Just five days before that fateful night in Saint-Denis A Selecao, the reigning world champions, had eliminated The Netherlands on penalties in what was, to that point, their most difficult encounter of an otherwise irresistible tournament. Nike sponsored both Brazil and Ronaldo, who wore his boots around his neck after the final. It was the night football lost its innocence. That would be quite the understatement. Edmundo testified at a congressional enquiry into the 1998 World Cup final. So I think I would do the same again.. He had no choice and accepted my decision. In this alternative lineup, Ronaldo was going to be playing as Brazil's number nine. "We relaxed, played [golf] then went to sleep; nothing happened. Then I played and maybe I affected the whole team because that convulsion was certainly something very scary. Farm Heroes Saga, the #4 Game on iTunes. Was it gamesmanship? However, his greatest contribution to his country might just have been in Yokohama; his personal touch on the day of that final might just have made all the difference. "I was very scared it would happen again," he told the BBC in 2014. (The above exchange was published by The Guardian in 2002, ahead of that years final in Yokohama.). Whatever the cause of Ronaldo's final flop against France in 1998, he more than made up for it four years later. Ronaldo was the kind of megastar player that coach Mrio Zagallo could hardly say no to. For context, try to imagine Argentina playing in the World Cup final and Lionel Messi being dropped from the team, without any prior indication of a problem or an injury. 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Ronaldo told FourFourTwo his version of events:'I decided to get some rest after lunch and the last thing I remember was going to bed. Brazil were beaten 3-0 by hosts France in the final on Sunday July 12, 1998 in a match where the biggest incident occurred before it had even begun. France centre backMarcel Desailly was sent off midway through the second half, but Brazil were still unable to find a way through andEmmanuel Petit completed a 3-0 win in stoppage time.
On July 13the day after the World Cup finalNike released the following statement: With regard to rumours circulating about presumed pressures Nike put on the Brazilian national soccer team so that Ronaldo would play, Nike wants to emphasize that the report of such involvement is absolutely false. (Via Sports Illustrated), It continued: Ronaldo and Zagallo decided together to crown this dream which the Brazilian player, probably, deserved to live. After scoring 34 goals in a fine season for Inter Milan including one in a UEFA Cup final win over Lazio and four more for Brazil en route to the world's biggest game at the Stade de France, the stage was set for 21-year-old Ronaldo. Dida told CNN, who stayed with Ronaldo until kickoff, a reassuring presence in the striker's hour of need.
"I could see everyone had a strange look on their faces, in total silence, very unusual for Brazilians during finals.
If any of the 1998 conspiracy theories passes muster, its this one. Then Ronaldo went to sleep, and the team doctors agreed to avoid telling him what had happened. Were the Brazilians trying to throw the French team off their game? "Highly skilled sheet metal fabricators with all the correct machinery to fabricate just about anything you need. Amid the madness, Motson sent BBC colleague Ray Stubbs to investigate and he sought information from Pele. There was obviously quite a lot of things going on in the Brazilian dressing room which we weren't party to.". Nike accused of forcing him to play. Now 25, Ronaldo lit up the tournament in Japan and South Korea. ", "No one still knows why and how this happened," Dida explained. It was the only World Cup final that Brazil lost between 1994 and 2002, but there was so much more to the story, and much of the excitement played out before a ball had even been kicked. We specialize in fabricating residential and commercial HVAC custom ductwork to fit your home or business existing system. Ronaldo ended France98 with the Golden Ball a trophy given to the best player at the tournament but he and Brazilmissed out on the main prize amid one of the strangest subplots in World Cup history.