World Cup 2014 countdown: Ronaldo and the 1998 World Cup final

Counting down the 100 greatest moments in the history of the World Cup

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The Independent Football

The World Cup in Brazil is coming into view and everyone is hoping this summer's carnival can take its place among some of the great tournaments of the past.

That won't be easy though, as this series will testify. In the run-up to the tournament, we're counting down the 100 greatest World Cup moments.

Check out our latest instalment below, and for any you missed, see the gallery at the end of the article.

Ronaldo and the 1998 World Cup final

At France '98, Ronaldo was the story of the tournament. The then Inter Milan star was banging in goals and dragged Brazil all the way to the final.

The stage was set for the striker to be crowned the world’s greatest by playing a starring role in the match against France. But then it all went wrong.

Just prior to kick-off the news came through that he wouldn't be starting the match, but no explanation was given. Then at the last minute he was reinstated, but would go on to have an awful game and contribute to Brazil's 3-0 defeat at the hands of the host.

The story has since become a conspiracy theorist’s dream. The favoured story is that he had a fit, induced by the pressure he was under.

Another was that he was dumped by his girlfriend, while some suggested he had been in a bust-up with his team-mates.

It's also been alleged that he was only reinstated into the team on the orders of Nike, who were sponsoring the striker.

Whatever the truth, it was a sad end to a wonderful tournament. But as you will see from another moment in this countdown, Ronaldo was to make amends in the best possible way.