17 Years Ago, We All Sat Around A TV At School To Watch England vs. Brazil

On this day in 2002, the great Ronaldinho left a country in tatters after an 'unexpected' free-kick nestled into the back of the net.

Did he mean it? According to the man himself, he did in fact aim for the goal:

"I saw he was off his line. About five metres off. I really aimed at the goal." he told FourFourTwo. "Although not exactly where [the ball] went.

"All I wanted was for Seaman to be desperate and maybe trip on his way back. It was a great goal in my greatest match for Brazil in that World Cup."

England's often reliable goalkeeper looked around in bemusement as a 20 inch TV almost fell from its far-from-sturdy wheels at my local primary school.

We all went mad. Ducking from objects flying around the room, even our teacher stood emotionless.

The dream was once again taken away from us in the cruelest way possible.

Image: Reddit
Image: Reddit

But let's be honest. Seaman should have done better after a promising start from The Three Lions.

Michael Owen opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with a tidy finish, which sparked huge scenes across the country.

I'm convinced my teacher said "we're going to win the World Cup" at that very moment. I still blame him.

Brazil striker Rivaldo soon equalised in the 45th minute and not long after, that infamous Ronaldinho free-kick in the 57th minute would ruin everything.

We all expected him to throw it into the mixer - or even pass it to a teammate nearby - but nobody, and I mean nobody, predicted what would happen next.

Especially the former Arsenal shot stopper.

How can a goal still hurt so much?

Where were you when Ronaldinho scored that free-kick to sink England's World Cup hopes?

Let us know your memories in the comments.

Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some huge names in the world of sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport, but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.

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