The Story Behind Ronaldo's Hair Cut: Did He Do It For A Kid With A Brain Tumor?

A story claiming that Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo shaved a line into his hair in order to express solidarity with a 10-month-old has gone viral, but it appears to be a hoax.

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Ronaldo has been trending around the world since late on Sunday, not for his footballing prowess, but his latest haircut - a bold zigzag-y stripe on the right-hand side of his head

When he first sported the new style in public, a few hours before the Portugal v USA game, Twitter erupted in a collective round of head-scratching and mickey-taking. Some suggested it merited a place among the World Cup's "worst haircuts". Others wondered if it was a funky-looking "7" - similar to Ghana's Asamoah Gyan, who has a yellow "3" dyed into his hair.

Since then there have been tens of thousands of tweets about his new haircut - with many of them praising him for his "tribute" to a boy who had brain surgery. But is this just a big Twitter rumour?

Does Ronaldo's haircut hides a message?

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However, the widespread mockery of his locks soon morphed into something completely different

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And it sent the Twitter rumour mill into overdrive. A single tweet from a regular football fan with 900 followers seems to have been the trigger. The tweet read: "Ronaldo cut his hair to match the scar of a young fan who had surgery to remove a brain tumor last week. #respect."

That tweet has now been shared more than 12,000 times. It was also copied word-for-word and reposted by numerous larger accounts. In all, there have been about 50,000 tweets and retweets.

This thing and variants are going around absolutely everywhere. All of them are pretty much the same: a photo of Ronaldo's hair, and a screencap of an article from For The Win about Ronaldo paying for the surgery of a child with cortical dysplasia.
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The problem is that there's nothing to suggest this is anything but a rumour

Stupid haircut or act of charity?

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Ronaldo himself has not posted to his social media accounts since before Sunday's match, and neither his agent nor the Portugal team have responded to our request for clarification.

Let's go through this piece by piece:

First of all, the article is from March. Second, cortical dysplasia is a congenital abnormality in the brain that can cause epilepsy, not a disease caused by a tumor. Finally, there are no reports sourced to Ronaldo—or, for that matter, from anyone who isn't a random jabroni on Twitter—saying that he shaved his head for Erik Ortiz Cruz.

It does appear to be the case that Ronaldo paid for the treatment of a young child needing surgery for a brain abnormality which causes epileptic fits

The story was widely reported in the media - and a screengrab from a USA Today article about this was included in the original tweet. But whether Ronaldo's haircut has anything to do with this, or brain tumours - or anything else - is anyone's guess.

Whether it's true or not doesn't matter to 29-year-old Nick Barrett who lives in Florida and who had brain surgery for a tumour eight months ago

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He tweeted photos of his large, curved, post-surgery scar after watching the game and the discussion online. "It brought back memories," he told BBC Trending. "When you walk around with a scar like that, everybody looks at you... It would be great if it just raises awareness about it."

The point here isn't to knock Ronaldo down a peg. It's also not to make you feel like a sucker if you bought the story.

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This isn't just feel-good glurge, but something specifically designed to make you feel like a jerk for laughing at the Portuguese's ridiculous hairdo. It probably spread so much because it works like a good urban legend, giving a deserved comeuppance to the shallow.

That said, don't believe any Twitter account's inspirational diarrhea just because it has "World Cup" in the name, and remember that it's always OK to make fun of Cristiano Ronaldo's hair.

ALSO READ: Are North Korean Men Really Forced To Get Kim Jong-Un's Signature Hairdo?

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