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R9 haircut – Why Did Ronaldo Get That Hair and What Is Its Name?

aida turner

Published by Aida Turner

Fact checked by Annie

Key Takeaways:

  • Ronaldo got the R9 haircut primarily to divert attention from his injury and shift the focus to his hairstyle instead.
  • The haircut is characterized by a shaved head at the back and a small tuft or arch in front. Many people consider it a buzzed cut with humorous modifications.
  • The R9 haircut is named after Ronaldo’s nickname, “R9,” which is derived from his initials and jersey number. It is also referred to as the R9 Ronaldo haircut, R9 haircut 2002, or R9 Brazil haircut.
  • The R9 Ronaldo haircut debuted during his match with Turkey in the 2002 World Cup.
  • To do the haircut, you need to create an arch in front of your head while shaving the back portion.

Ronaldo Nazario or the Brazilian Ronaldo, is one of the most renowned players in football history.

With his outstanding performance, Ronaldo Nazario won three Player of the Year awards in 1996, 1997 and 2002 from FIFA.

But, during his career, Ronaldo suffered several injuries on the pitch. One of which was the nasty knee injury he got before his comeback in 2002.

Fans and sports enthusiasts thought it would be the end of his reign. Yet, Ronaldo proved them wrong by returning strong and bagging the World Cup championship title for Brazil for the fifth time.

Aside from his top-notch skills, Ronaldo was also known for his iconic haircut in the World Cup. 

After winning the game, his fans, teammates (Luis Figo and Zinedine Zidane), and a few of the greatest players in the sport (Richarlison, Neymar, Nick Mars, Shaqiri) mimicked his style.

Why did R9 get that haircut?

The primary reason behind the R9 haircut was his injuries.

In 2018, Ronaldo gave an interview to ESPN in which he explained the reason his haircut:

“I had an injury in my leg and everybody was talking about that.

“I decided to cut my hair and leave the small thing there. I come to training and everybody saw me with bad hair.

“Everybody was talking about the hair and forgot about the injury. I could stay more calm and relaxed and focused on my training.

“I’m not proud about the hair itself because it was pretty strange. But it was a good way to change the subject.”

During the World Cup championship games hosted by South Korea and Japan in 2002, Ronaldo Nazario returned to the football pitch with odd-looking hair.

People have been concerned about his physical state and started questioning if he can still bring a trophy home for Brazil.

Ronaldo wished for everybody to quit discussing his injury. So, he wore a HUMOROUS HAIRCUT as a distraction.

Upon arriving at the training with his iconic shaved hair, his teammates immediately forgot about his injury and started talking about his new haircut.

Sports enthusiasts also stopped talking about their concerns when they saw him with a strange hairstyle during his match with Turkey.

He didn’t really like his oddly-shaved head. But, since people are more focused on his hair, he felt calmer and at ease, allowing him to focus on the game.

In the end, Brazil won the World Champions title, all thanks to his hair and eight goals in the 2002 World Cup tournament.

Why is Ronaldo’s hairstyle called the R9 haircut?

The R9 haircut was named after the nickname of the star striker, which was derived from his initials and jersey number.

The haircut is also known as:

  • R9 Ronaldo haircut
  • R9 haircut 2002, and
  • R9 Brazil haircut.

The R9 haircut combines a shaved head at the back with a small tuft in front. Many people refer to it as a buzzed cut with humorous modifications

For the fandom, especially the older generation, this haircut screams, “There’s only one Ronaldo!” (and he’s Brazilian).

Soccer players who have adopted the R9 haircut

Check out these variations of the R9 hairstyle:

Braithwaite R9 Haircut

Unlike the classic R9 haircut, Martin Braithwaite changed his style and inverted the tuft on the front. This basically follows the curve of his hairline and cuts it straight near the crown.

Richarlison R9 Haircut

Richarlison also channeled his inner Brazilian Ronaldo by doing the hairstyle. It’s fairly similar to the classic version, yet its fringe is mostly uneven.

Neymar R9 Haircut

neymar r9 haircut
Image source

Neymar, the Brazilian soccer player, wore the R9 haircut during the 2011-2012 season while playing for Santos F.C. in Brazil.

Xherdan Shaqiri R9 Haircut

Xherdan Shaqiri, the Swiss soccer player, wore the R9 haircut during the 2015-2016 season when he was playing for FC Bayern München.

Insigne R9 Haircut

Insigne’s take on the R9 hairstyle is probably one of the most stylish. Aside from the slightly long tuft in front, he also added some hair tattoos on the sides to level up the style. 

Kids with R9 haircut

Children can also sport the R9 haircut to match their usual get-up. Yet, controversies revealed that such a hairstyle is inappropriate in school settings.

How to get the R9 haircut?

If you’re wondering how to get the R9 haircut at home, you only need to follow these 5 steps:

  1. Determine the center line of your head that divides the front and back portion.
  2. Shave the back portion of your head using a zero-guard clipper. Ensure that it is shaved clean.
  3. Starting from the middle of the crown, curve your clipper towards the front edge to create a half arch. 
  4. Once the arch is formed, taper the front portion using a one-guard clipper
  5. Using the same clipper, create a sharp edge on your hairline to finalize the arch. 

How much is the R9 haircut?

Getting short haircuts like the R9 is fairly cheap. It will only cost you approximately $15 to get it done by a professional. 

But, if you want to save more, you can also do it at home by following our guide above.


The R9 haircut is indeed odd-looking, but for the legendary striker, its oddness stopped the people from talking about his injuries and let them focus on the match instead.

Even if it’s not as sleek as a Cristiano Ronaldo haircut, this style is symbolic in soccer history.

It signifies how Brazil bagged the championship title in the World Cup hosted by Japan and South Korea in 2002.

If you’re a die-hard fan and believer that there is only one Ronaldo, consider getting this haircut today (if you’re brave enough)!

aida turner


Founder & Hair Beauty Specialist

I’m Aida and this is my blog where I write mostly about beauty and make up related stuff, but I like to spice it up a bit with lifestyle and photography posts. Or with whatever that comes to my mind. Hope you will enjoy the reading enough that we will ‘see’ each other more often!