Neymar: I had a Ronaldo haircut in 2002

Il Fenomeno made headlines for his appearance as much as his on-field heroics in Japan and South Korea, but the Barcelona star admits he mimicked the look of his idol
By Kris Voakes in Sao Paulo

Neymar has revealed he sported the same outrageous hairstyle as Ronaldo during Brazil's triumphant 2002 World Cup campaign.

Ronaldo notched eight goals - including two in the final against Germany - to finish clear at the top of the scoring charts in Japan and South Korea, but made as many headlines for his appearance as his on-field heroics.

The former Real Madrid striker shaved off all his hair except a section at the front, with the look since regularly topping lists of the worst haircuts in football history.

But Neymar admits his admiration for Il Fenomeno prompted him to follow suit during the tournament, even though he claims he has forgotten most of the context of Brazil's fifth World Cup victory.

"In 2002, I had a haircut like Ronaldo's but I don't remember much," he told reporters at a press conference in Sao Paulo ahead of Thursday's tournament opener against Croatia. "I remember celebrating.

"Romario and Ronaldo are the two star players that I always think of when we talk about World Cups, especially 2002.

"I get inspiration from all players all over the world, players like Messi and Ronaldo, but I hope to follow my path together with my team."