Brazilian forward Ronaldo looks dejected 12 July at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, near Paris, after the 1998 Soccer World Cup final matchvs Brazil. France won the title for the first time beating Brazil 3-0. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO ANTONIO SCORZA / AFP PHOTO / ANTONIO SCORZA
Brazilian forward Ronaldo looks dejected at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, near Paris, after the 1998 World Cup final match. AFP

My favourite World Cup moment: The Ronaldo mystery at France 98



Brazil were far from world beaters in the late 90s. A flaky defence meant workmanlike international squads had a chance of an upset. Heading into France 98, however, the World Cup holders had Ronaldo.

Just 21 at the 1998 tournament, the Inter striker scored four and assisted as many as he terrorised defences with strength, speed and shooting accuracy.

The stage was set for a showdown with hosts France and their mercurial playmaker Zinedine Zidane. It was going to be an antidote to a dull and defensive 1994 final.

Then, as much of the world was plunging hands into snack bowls, the news broke: Ronaldo was out of the starting XI.

The BBC presenter Des Lynam waved the official team sheet towards the camera. On it, showing Edmundo starting in Ronaldo's place. They went to the stadium where commentator John Motson described mayhem as hundreds of shocked pundits and journalists were put to work to find out what happened as rumours of sickness or injury swirled the Stade de France. Footage of a pensive Pele beamed across the world.

David Ginola, the French winger at Tottenham, was working colour with Gary Lineker for the BBC. He grinned from ear to ear as Gallic smugness cranked up to 10. The hosts were on the Rue de Rivoli against a neutered Brazil.

But just as the world digested a final without the tournament's star player, Lineker got word that Ronaldo was back in. A yellow team sheet appeared in Lynam's clutches and Ronaldo was reinstated amid cries of conspiracy, gamesmanship and foul play. It wasn't going to be that straightforward, Ginola.

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The final started and it was evident midway through the first half that Ronaldo was performing below par. Zidane ghosted by the striker, who was marking him at a set piece, to head in a first for the French. The hosts would canter to a 3-0 win and Ronaldo, inexplicably, played the full 90 minutes.

Later it was revealed the striker had a convulsion after lunch on the day of the final. He said that he was unconscious for "about four minutes". Junior Baiano, the centre back, described the team rushing to Ronaldo's hotel room and saw their teammate "in a bad way". "He was really sick. His face was contorting and was drooling... all the players saw the horrible scene."

What caused his affliction and why he played after this episode remain a mystery, but has generated a number of fun conspiracy theories. Medical examinations came back negative. Edmundo, the benched striker, alleged that Nike ordered Ronaldo to play. The company and Fifa refuted claims they pressured the team to change the team sheet.

Ronaldo would suffer a career-threatening knee injury in 1999, but he recovered to the peak of his powers to score eight goals as Brazil lifted the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea.

Stephen Nelmes is Home Page Editor at The National

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Roger Federer - back

Stan Wawrinka - knee

Kei Nishikori - wrist

Marin Cilic - adductor

Series result

1st ODI Zimbabwe won by 6 wickets

2nd ODI Sri Lanka won by 7 wickets

3rd ODI Sri Lanka won by 8 wickets

4th ODI Zimbabwe won by 4 wickets

5th ODI Zimbabwe won by 3 wickets

The specs

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Power: 194hp at 5,600rpm

Torque: 275Nm from 2,000-4,000rpm

Transmission: 6-speed auto

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On sale: now

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-finals, first leg
Liverpool v Roma

When: April 24, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Anfield, Liverpool
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 2, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

World Cup League Two

Results

Oman beat Nepal by 18 runs

Oman beat United States by six wickets

Nepal beat United States by 35 runs

Oman beat Nepal by eight wickets

 

Fixtures

Tuesday, Oman v United States

Wednesday, Nepal v United States

 

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

How to wear a kandura

Dos

  • Wear the right fabric for the right season and occasion 
  • Always ask for the dress code if you don’t know
  • Wear a white kandura, white ghutra / shemagh (headwear) and black shoes for work 
  • Wear 100 per cent cotton under the kandura as most fabrics are polyester

Don’ts 

  • Wear hamdania for work, always wear a ghutra and agal 
  • Buy a kandura only based on how it feels; ask questions about the fabric and understand what you are buying
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Engine: two permanent magnet synchronous motors
Transmission: two-speed
Power: 625hp
Torque: 850Nm
Range: 456km
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UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

ABU DHABI'S KEY TOURISM GOALS: BY THE NUMBERS

By 2030, Abu Dhabi aims to achieve:

• 39.3 million visitors, nearly 64% up from 2023

• Dh90 billion contribution to GDP, about 84% more than Dh49 billion in 2023

• 178,000 new jobs, bringing the total to about 366,000

• 52,000 hotel rooms, up 53% from 34,000 in 2023

• 7.2 million international visitors, almost 90% higher compared to 2023's 3.8 million

• 3.9 international overnight hotel stays, 22% more from 3.2 nights in 2023

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

The specs

Engine: 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbo

Transmission: CVT

Power: 170bhp

Torque: 220Nm

Price: Dh98,900

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

Company profile

Company name: Leap
Started: March 2021
Founders: Ziad Toqan and Jamil Khammu
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Funds raised: Undisclosed
Current number of staff: Seven

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

Forced Deportations

While the Lebanese government has deported a number of refugees back to Syria since 2011, the latest round is the first en-mass campaign of its kind, say the Access Center for Human Rights, a non-governmental organization which monitors the conditions of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

“In the past, the Lebanese General Security was responsible for the forced deportation operations of refugees, after forcing them to sign papers stating that they wished to return to Syria of their own free will. Now, the Lebanese army, specifically military intelligence, is responsible for the security operation,” said Mohammad Hasan, head of ACHR.
In just the first four months of 2023 the number of forced deportations is nearly double that of the entirety of 2022.

Since the beginning of 2023, ACHR has reported 407 forced deportations – 200 of which occurred in April alone.

In comparison, just 154 people were forcfully deported in 2022.

Violence

Instances of violence against Syrian refugees are not uncommon.

Just last month, security camera footage of men violently attacking and stabbing an employee at a mini-market went viral. The store’s employees had engaged in a verbal altercation with the men who had come to enforce an order to shutter shops, following the announcement of a municipal curfew for Syrian refugees.
“They thought they were Syrian,” said the mayor of the Nahr el Bared municipality, Charbel Bou Raad, of the attackers.
It later emerged the beaten employees were Lebanese. But the video was an exemplary instance of violence at a time when anti-Syrian rhetoric is particularly heated as Lebanese politicians call for the return of Syrian refugees to Syria.

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Starring: Tom Holland, Ciara Bravo

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Our legal columnist

Name: Yousef Al Bahar

Advocate at Al Bahar & Associate Advocates and Legal Consultants, established in 1994

Education: Mr Al Bahar was born in 1979 and graduated in 2008 from the Judicial Institute. He took after his father, who was one of the first Emirati lawyers


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