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," the Brazilian told FourFourTwo in 2015. "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."
Despite his confession seven years ago, the former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain forward recently admitted the goal against England wasn't entirely intentional.
"No, it wasn't on purpose," Ronaldinho told SPORTbible ahead of the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid in May. "But we studied it a lot and we knew that the English goalkeeper – he kind of took the advance a bit.
"I was actually lucky enough that the ball entered the way it did. For the sadness of lots of English, and for the happiness of so many Brazilians."
England's often-reliable goalkeeper, David Seaman, looked around in bemusement as millions yelled at their television sets. Screams of injustice flooded the sports hall of primary schools around the country.
World Cup heartache beckoned once more and eventually, the World Cup dream was taken away from many fans in the cruelest way possible after such a positive start.
Michael Owen opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with a tidy finish, which sparked huge scenes across the country.
FLASHBACK: #OnThisDay in 2002 England 1-2 Brazil in the World Cup Quarter-Final.— A Funny Old Game (@sid_lambert) June 21, 2018
Michael Owen put England ahead in the 730am kick off, then David Seaman fell asleep and Ronaldinho sent Sven’s men home...pic.twitter.com/UdSRMLup3c
Brazil striker Rivaldo soon equalised in the 45th minute and not long after, that infamous Ronaldinho free-kick in the 57th minute would make it 2-1.
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.
Some say Seaman should have done better. I say differently.
Has anyone ever placed the ball for a free-kick as nonchalantly as Ronaldinho placed the ball before scoring against England in 2002? pic.twitter.com/QrhfSQXAzs— Jack Lang (@jacklang) June 12, 2018
Where were you when Ronaldinho scored that free-kick to sink England's World Cup hopes?
Let us know your memories in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: SPORTbible
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