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Cristiano Ronaldo's fans say hairstyle is about warm heart -- not Vanilla Ice

Portugal's star shows off zig-zag haircut during FIFA World Cup game

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(AP)
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Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo showed off a new zig-zag haircut Sunday during his game against the United States.

His devoted fans in Miami said the new cut was not a cool fashion statement, but  a sign of his warm heart.

"His fade has nothing to do with Vanilla Ice," Tania de La Paz, of Miami Beach, said. "He is big on helping children in need. Those who know that know that it looks like the scar that a boy he helped had left after surgery."

Ronaldo did not release a statement to explain the change of style, but fans said that it was in support of a boy named Erik Ortiz Cruz from Villaluenga de la Sagra, Spain. The soccer player earns about $23.5 million with the Real Madrid.

After a friend asked Ronaldo to sign a jersey for an auction in March, Ronaldo not only provided autographed shoes, a jersey and a poster, but he also donated about $60,000 to pay for the boy's surgery.

"Ronaldo had the little boy in mind," said Matilde Gaspar, of North Miami. "He has a son, so he is compassionate."

The one-year-old had surgery to remove a brain anomaly, after he was diagnosed with cortical dysplasia, a malformation that occurs when the top layer of the brain does not form properly.

"Thank you Cristiano for helping my son," said Erik's mom Cristina Cruz in Spanish during an interview with La Sexta.

Ronaldo, 29, was born in Madeira, Portugal. Forbes recently ranked him as the highest paid player in the world, and with sponsorships that include Nike, his estimated earnings are at about $73 million.