France Dedicated An Entire Training Session Before The ’98 World Cup To Stop ‘R9’ Ronaldo
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France Dedicated An Entire Training Session Before The ’98 World Cup To Stop ‘R9’ Ronaldo

Ahead of the 1998 World Cup final at the Stade de France, the hosts made sure that Brazil’s best player, Ronaldo, was not going to ruin their chances of glory.

The likes of Marcel Desailly, Lillian Thuram and Frank LeBeboeuf can be seen discussing how to try and stop the Inter Milan striker, who scored 34 goals in that season for the Italian giants, in the final.

That’s right – they dedicated a whole training session for “The Phenomenon” days before the game.

Image: France/YouTube

Image: France/YouTube

You can hear the players discussing how to stop those famous stepovers, as well as not getting too tight when marking him.

It’s a brilliant watch, complete with subtitles.

Of course, the training session seemed to have worked, with the French eventually beating the mighty Brazil 3-0 thanks to goals from Zinedine Zidane and Emmanuel Petit.

But that important training session could have counted for nothing after Ronaldo was originally not named in the starting XI.

It was thought that R9 was hit with an illness bug, which ruled him out, but 30 minutes before kick-off, it was confirmed that Ronaldo would start against France – to the bemusement of everyone, especially commentator John Motson.

The 1998 World Cup was certainly controversial and more recently, Michel Platini admitted that it was, in fact, fixed.

“When we organised the calendar, we did a little trickery. If we finished first in the group and Brazil finished first, we could not meet before the final.” Plantiti said.

“We did not get bored for six years to organise the World Cup to not do some little shenanigans.

“You think that the others did not do it for their World Cup France-Brazil in the final, it was the dream of everyone.”

It was seen as a shocking revelation that. The competition was basically rigged to ensure that the two sides would end up meeting in the final.

Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He’s interviewed some huge names in the world of sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport, but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.

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