On this day 20 years ago, Ronaldinho scored one of the most magical goals in World Cup history against England.
A footballer capable of doing the unthinkable at any moment, Ronaldinho did just that when his free kick flew over David Seaman’s head from an incredible distance.
It’s a timeless goal and an iconic moment, even though it’s a memory that can still hurt Three Lions fans who woke up early in the UK to watch it live.
Whether Ronaldinho really intended to put the ball into the basket the way he did on this day in 2002 is a debate for another day. But intentional or not, nothing can detract from how great this moment was.
The rising star of a team that has included the likes of Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos, Gilberto Silva and Cafu, Ronaldinho’s goal you can watch on Reddit – ended up being the winner as Brazil emerged 2–1 winners in the quarter-finals despite Michael Owen giving England the lead after 23 minutes.
It serves as a reminder of just how talented Ronaldinho really was when he was in full pomp. No one could get close to the guy. Literally. He didn’t even have to play until the end of the game after he scored a free kick and was sent off seven minutes after scoring.
David Seaman, then 38 years old, was completely helpless when he got under the loop force. Pedaling back frantically, the seasoned stopper in the autumn of his career could do nothing to correct his position as the ball went over his head and into the net.
Since then, both Seaman and Ronaldinho have repeatedly rekindled head-to-head rivalries at the annual charity football games, resulting in a friendly battle of wits over the years.
This is made for some touching humorous moments when Ronaldinho famously tries to recreate the free kick that made Seaman look silly in the 2016 iteration of the event.
However, the holiday did not go according to plan, and Ronaldinho was the one who was left with a red face this time.
You can watch the brilliant moment between the couple here:
Ronaldinho’s smile when his shot sparkles is priceless. You can’t help but smile when you see him smirk.
This is a pure moment between two football icons who clearly have a lot of respect for each other. The sailor quickly raises his hands cheerfully before snapping, and everyone understands perfectly well what is happening.
But, as we have said, this rivalry continues. Ronaldinho actually attempted to recreate his kick again a year earlier, in a 2015 charity match for UNICEF hosted by David Beckham, with Seaman back in goal.
The Brazilian legend tried desperately to do so, but failed in the battle between the two, which was fueled by laughter.
You can watch Ronaldinho’s efforts in 2015 below.
Not once, but twice. The sailor didn’t care, he laughed at Ronaldinho’s free-kick when he flew over the crossbar.
However, he tries to do it again, from open play, and Seaman’s reaction when the dink hits the roof of the net is just golden.
Hands on hips and wry smile speak for themselves.
Two moments of great sportsmanship between them, going back to the truly unforgettable sporting moment of the incredible World Cup in Japan and South Korea.
Since then, Ronaldinho has never been able to beat Seaman, but he will always have the opportunity to look back on the 2002 effort that made the difference when it mattered the most when Brazil won the World Cup for the fifth time.