Former Brazilian star Zico says the team doctor inexplicably reversed
his decision to bar Ronaldo from the 1998 World Cup final just hours
after the player was hospitalized with convulsions.
Zico, technical co-ordinator of the 1998 team, said Lidio Toledo was
responsible for letting Ronaldo play in the final, in which favoured
Brazil lost 3-0 to host France.
"We held a meeting in the afternoon, and Dr. Lidio said Ronaldo wasn't
in condition to play," Zico said in an interview broadcast Monday by
Sportv. "When I got to the locker-room, Ronaldo was standing there in
game shorts (and) socks, told Lidio that he had played the entire Cup,
exams hadn't proven anything, and he was going to play. In a case like
this, only one person could veto the player - the doctor. There was no
Ronaldo played poorly in the final. Eight or nine players witnessed his
unexplained convulsions hours before the match and were visibly shaken,
"If it had happened the day before, I think the team would have
recovered. But as it was on the same day, the group was divided.
Leonardo, for example, kept asking if Ronaldo was in danger of dying."
Zico, who played in the 1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cups, is considered an
eventual candidate for coach of Brazil. He's currently the coach of
Turkey's Fenerbahce club.