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Rivaldo finally explains if Ronaldinho meant that free-kick against England

Brazil legend Rivaldo has opened up about the 2002 World Cup quarter-final against England, which Brazil won 2-1 after a memorable free-kick goal from Ronaldinho.

The former Barcelona superstar caught out Three Lions stopper David Seaman with an audacious 42-yard strike and there has long been speculation over whether Ronaldinho actually meant it or not.

His longtime team-mate Rivaldo, who scored Brazil's opener in the clash, has now revealed the strike was indeed on purpose, with Ronaldinho noticing that "Seaman had that tendency to take one or two steps forward at free kicks and so he tried to surprise him".

Speaking in his role as a Betfair ambassador, Rivaldo said: "I remember well that match against England at World Cup 2002 in which we won 2-1.

"Ronaldinho gave a brilliant performance that day, setting up an excellent play and assisting me for our first goal. My goal was important for us, as we managed to equalise right before half-time.

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"Then at the second half, he scored that famous goal from way outside the box that surprised David Seaman and all the world, me included.

"I never thought he could try such strike, but it worked perfectly. After the match, he told me that he knew that Seaman had that tendency to take one or two steps forward at free kicks and so he tried to surprise him.

"That match was particularly remarkable because Ronaldinho was sent off with half an hour to play and we had to fight hard to contain English pressure until the end.

"To score a goal from such a tough position, and with your right foot, is amazing because it would be more plausible for a lefty to do it.

"For Ronaldinho, though, there were no impossible tasks and it was a joy to watch him play and to share the pitch with him many times."

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