There's a very good chance that when Cristiano Ronaldo turned up to yesterday's showdown with the USMNT with the mark of Zorro shaved into the side of his head, you laughed your ass off and wondered what the hell what he was thinking. There's a pretty good chance that later, you felt like a jackass when you learned that he was honoring a child who'd just had a brain tumor removed.
No one has any idea what Ronaldo was thinking when he sat down with his barber, but one thing is quite clear: Despite what you may have seen on social media, there is no reason at all to think it had anything to do with matching the scar of a young fan who'd just had a brain tumor removed.
This thing and variants are going around absolutely everywhere. All of them are pretty much the same: a photo of Ronaldo's hair, and a screencap of an article from For The Win about Ronaldo paying for the surgery of a child with cortical dysplasia.
Let's go through this piece by piece. First of all, the article is from March. Second, cortical dysplasia is a congenital abnormality in the brain that can cause epilepsy, not a disease caused by a tumor. Finally, there are no reports sourced to Ronaldo—or, for that matter, from anyone who isn't a random jabroni on Twitter—saying that he shaved his head for Erik Ortiz Cruz.
The point here isn't to knock Ronaldo down a peg—he really did pay $83,000 for a child's brain surgery. It's also not to make you feel like a sucker if you bought the story. This isn't just feel-good glurge, but something specifically designed to make you feel like a jerk for laughing at the Portuguese's ridiculous hairdo. It probably spread so much because it works like a good urban legend, giving a deserved comeuppance to the shallow. That said, don't believe any Twitter account's inspirational diarrhea just because it has "World Cup" in the name, and remember that it's always OK to make fun of Cristiano Ronaldo's hair.