Marcelo Balboa closes a chapter in his distinctive hair era when he lets his iconic locks fall on Friday in an effort to help children in cancer treatment with a personal donation to the cause.
"I am getting a haircut, yes, sir!" Balboa said Thursday, less than 48 hours before he goes on Univision's Despierta America ["Wakeup America"] Friday morning for a nationally broadcast live haircut of some 10 inches of his hair.
It will be the first significant haircut he's had, other than an annual trim, since he played in the 1994 World Cup, the second of three World Cup appearances for the National Soccer Hall of Fame member.
Balboa credits a couple of younger children he knows for opening his eyes to the Locks of Love program, a charitable organization that takes donations of hair and turns them into hairpieces for financially disadvantaged children suffering from medical hair loss for any diagnosis.
"Quite a while ago I had a buddy of mine who had a little kid who had cancer," Balboa said.
"And going through that whole thing and seeing what he went through and all that stuff - now he's in remission, he's good.
"Then about a year ago, my hair was already long, and one of my buddy's kids was growing his hair long.
"I'm looking at him, and I'm like, that was kind of weird, 'what are you growing your hair for?' He said, 'A friend of ours' son had cancer. So I'm growing my hair to make a wig for Locks of Love. I'm donating it so they can make a wig for him.'