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Pure class: Was Ronaldo’s odd hair a tribute to young cancer survivor?

Jun 23, 2014, 2:32 PM EDT

Cristiano Ronaldo AP

Was Cristiano Ronaldo‘s hair more of a tribute to a young cancer battler than a throwback to awful early-1990s hip-hop?

That’s the story making its way around the web today and, even if it’s unverified and not totally following logic, seems to fit in with Ronaldo’s reputation as a overall decent dude.

Maybe it all gets debunked, but if not he certainly provided an “egg on face” moment for the many people who ripped on his ‘do (probably not as bad as the Darke/McManaman “clear embellishment/what a shame” castigation of Alvaro Pereira before replays showed he was kneed in the head, but pretty bad).

From Yahoo’s UK Eurosport:

Yet according to a story doing the rounds on Twitter, the Portuguese striker’s go-faster-stripes weren’t a fashion statement, but a gesture of solidarity for Erik Ortiz Cruz, a young boy in Spain who recently underwent brain surgery that was paid for by the Real Madrid superstar.

It’s a matter of record that Ronaldo helped out little Erik before – in fact, we reported on the star’s act of generosity in paying the entire £50,000 medical bill as soon as little Erik’s plight was brought to his attention.

But there are, as yet, no corroborating sources to suggest that Ronaldo’s new do was a nod to his little pal. For one thing, Erik actually underwent surgery several months ago now.

Ronaldo rarely talks about his giving ways, but this is a heck of a story. To be frank, we hope it’s true and if posting the speculation helps give way to an explanation, well, that would be cool, too.