Reunion with the brilliant Brazil team that defeated England at the 2002 World Cup

Brazilians Ronaldinho and Ronaldo plead the referee during a World Cup quarter final match against England in Shizuoka June 21, 2002. Credit: PA Images

On June 21, 2002, England were beaten 2-1 by Brazil in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

England actually took the lead in Shizuoka through Michael Owen but failed to hold on and were eventually pushed back by a clever goal from Rivaldo and Ronaldinho’s famous free-kick which caught David Seaman.

Brazil beat Turkey and Germany on their way to the title and we re-watched their XI from the England game to see what they achieved.

GC: Marcos

Marcos is a stalwart player at Palmeiras, having made over 500 appearances in 20 years at the club. Marcos earned just 29 caps for Brazil between 1999 and 2005, but he played in every game of their World Cup triumph.

Arsenal agreed to sign Marcos in January 2003, only for the goalkeeper to refuse a move to stay with Palmeiras, who had just been relegated to the second division of Brazilian football.

He finally ended the day in 2012 when Palmeiras retired his No.12 shirt and he is now the club’s ambassador.

Marcos has also launched a brand of beer, imaginatively named 12. We tried them. It sucks.

CB: Roque Junior

A solid member of Brazil’s back three in 2002, Roque Junior is best known in England for his disastrous spell at Leeds, which ended in relegation.

Many Leeds fans were delighted by the arrival of a world champion and Champions League winner, but in his seven games the Whites conceded 24 goals.

The defender then played for six other clubs and, after a few positions in management, worked as sporting director at Brazilian club Ferroviaria until December 2019. Today he is an expert at the Brazilian television station Globo.

Germany's Christoph Kramer after an injury during the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina at Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on July 13, 2014. Photo credit: PA Images

Germany’s Christoph Kramer after an injury during the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina at Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on July 13, 2014. Photo credit: PA Images

READ: 9 Players We Still Can’t Believe Have Played In A World Cup Final

CB: Lucio

Now let’s talk. A true legend of the Brazilian team, Lucio has won 105 caps for his country, three league titles with Bayern Munich and a treble with Inter.

“He doesn’t have great feet but he defends well,” said the king of compliments Jose Mourinho of Lucio, who announced his retirement in January 2020 at the age of 41.

CB: Edmilson

An often-overlooked figure for Brazil and Barcelona, ​​Edmilson has always been a reliable presence, whether in defense or midfield.

After winning two league titles and the Champions League with Barca, his career ended with short-lived stints at Villarreal, Palmeiras, Zaragoza and Ceara.

Since then he has worked for Brazilian television and runs a children’s charity called Fundacao Edmilson.

We will never forget his overhead kick against Costa Rica.

RWB: Cafu

Cafu, the all-time all-time capper, captain of the World Cup team and one of the best right-backs of all time, gained even more license to shoot forward as a full-back in 2002 when he played in his third-consecutive final.

“If there is a man who has made sacrifices and dedicated himself to the cause of the Brazilian team, that man is Cafu,” said Luiz Felipe Scolari. “He was my commander in the field.”

Since retiring in 2008, Cafu has left football to pursue business interests – but his fortune was frozen in 2020 after allegedly serving as an ambassador for a crypto pyramid scheme. Nice.

CM: Gilberto Silva

Brazil are rarely associated with defensive midfielders, but Gilberto Silva played a pivotal role in 2002, anchoring midfield to allow the more creative players to let off steam in attack.

His performances at the World Cup led to a move to Arsenal FC, where he apparently made an impression on Arsene Wenger.

“He’s great for me,” said Wenger. “Modesty, humility, humanly a top person. He was willing to sacrifice himself for the team.”

Since Gilberto retired he’s helped start a players’ union in Brazil and there’s a giant anteater at London Zoo named after him, meaning he’s our favorite footballer now.

CM: Kleberson

Like Roque Junior, another odd case that fans in England can’t believe, won a World Cup. Kleberson was the first Brazilian ever to play for Manchester United and was signed at the same time as Cristiano Ronaldo.

When asked what went wrong for the midfielder at Old Trafford in 2013, Sir Alex Ferguson replied: “[He] cared too much about what his wife wanted.”

Just when everyone thought Kleberson’s career was over, he returned to Brazil to win the title with Flamengo and was even called up to the 2010 World Cup squad.

He finished his playing career with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL before returning to the Philadelphia Union as a youth coach.

In July 2022, he was appointed assistant manager at Manchester City’s sister club New York City FC. If he does a good job there, we might even see him back in Manchester one day.

LWF: Roberto Carlos

With Cafu on a cross, Brazil’s Roberto Carlos and his intimidatingly huge thighs completed what could possibly be the greatest full-backs of all time.

“His left leg seems to be made of iron,” Jaap Stam once commented on the left-back, whose career has not gone to plan after retiring at Sivasspor, Akhisar Belediyespor or the Delhi Dynamos.

He briefly came out of retirement in 2022 to play for Shropshire Sunday League side Bull at Barne United. No, we’re not joking…

Roberto Carlos (centre) poses for photos with Bull In The Barne United players at the Hanwood Village Hall Recreation Centre, Shrewsbury.  Friday March 4, 2022. Credit: PA Images

Roberto Carlos (centre) poses for photos with Bull In The Barne United players at the Hanwood Village Hall Recreation Centre, Shrewsbury. Friday March 4, 2022. Credit: PA Images

READ: I saw Roberto Carlos play Sunday league… and it sucked gloriously


Opening the devastating front line of the ‘Three Rs’, Ronaldinho’s 2002 World Cup campaign will forever be remembered for his daring free-kick that caught David Seaman in the quarter-finals.

It’s often forgotten that he was actually sent off in that game and missed the semifinals through suspension before returning for the final.

One of the most entertaining footballers of all time, Ronaldinho only officially announced his retirement in January 2018, two and a half years after he last played for Fluminense.

He has since spent time in prison in Paraguay on charges of entering the country using a fake Paraguayan passport and was reportedly planning to marry two women at the same time in a ceremony in 2018, according to reports from Brazil.

    Credit: PA Pictures

Credit: PA Pictures

READ: Of course Ronaldinho wanted to chip David Seaman – he is Ronaldinho


One of the more experienced Brazilian players at the World Cup, Rivaldo enjoyed a brilliant tournament, scoring five goals including the equalizer against England.

A star at Barcelona in his glory, Rivaldo has remarkably outlived many of his 2012 team-mates. He spent two years in Uzbekistan, playing for a club apparently controlled by the Uzbek dictator’s pop star daughter and still scoring for Brazilian minnows Mogi Mirim – no less than his own son – in 2015.

He also served as Mogi Mirim’s president but was accused of appropriating the club’s two training grounds and directing monies owed to the club from a partnership with an Uzbek company directly into his personal bank account. He denied the claims. Since then, the club has gone to the wall.


O Fenomeno. Ronaldo may have already suffered two serious knee injuries by this point in his career, but he was still capable of being the most exciting striker in the world.

Eight goals at the World Cup, including two in the final, put him level with Pele’s record of 12, which he would break four years later.

Persistent fitness issues dogged Ronaldo for the remainder of his career but still, what a player.

    Credit: PA Pictures

Credit: PA Pictures

READ: Ronaldo’s rise in Brazil: ‘It was like he came from the moon’

More Brazil

18 of the best quotes about Ronaldo: “The most complete striker there will ever be”

Ze Elias: Ronaldo said to Mancini: “Shut up, I’ll give you my autograph afterwards”

Rivaldo: The story of a great player in a not-so-great Barcelona team

Can you name all Brazilian players with more than 5 goals in Premier League?

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