Saturday February 18 2017
Leonardo: 'Ronaldo had convulsions'

Leonardo explained the frightening scenario ahead of the 1998 World Cup Final when Ronaldo had convulsions in the team hotel.

The former Milan player was present in the Brazil hotel ahead of the 1998 World Cup Final when Ronaldo had what was later described as a fit.

What happened that day has never been entirely clarified, nor why the medics allowed him to play in the Final against France.

“Ronaldo went to have a nap on the day of the game, as we all do. As he slept, he had these convulsions. Roberto Carlos shared his room and saw it happening, he ran out and shouted to call for help,” Leonardo told the Corriere dello Sport.

“We all rushed over and together experienced that dramatic situation. After the convulsions, he fell asleep. The doctor examined him, verified there were no immediate dangers.

“Ronaldo woke up later at 5pm and still didn’t know what had happened. What do you tell him? What do you not tell him? Eventually he was taken to hospital for tests. Meanwhile, we met with Edmundo, who was supposed to play instead.

“We were in the stadium about to emerge for the warm-up when Ronaldo turns up in a car and says he’s fine, he wants to play. He goes into a room with the Coach, comes out 20 minutes later and plays.

“None of us warmed up really, he did it in the locker room and came out to play. Imagine what’s going through all our minds at that moment. Is he coming, is he not coming, will he play or not play, will he speak or not speak?

“It was chaos, that’s how we prepared for the game. No wonder we conceded three goals against France.”