Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Ronaldinho tried to beat David Seaman with another stunning free-kick 13 years after sensational Brazil goal

Take yourself back to 2002. Britney Spears, MTV and no social media. And, of course, the World Cup.

England fancied their chances going to the tournament in South Korea and Japan, taking a phenomenal team brimming with talent.

Ronaldinho lit up the 2002 World Cup with a moment that England fans might not want to see againPA:Press Association

David Beckham, Michael Owen and Paul Scholes were some of the glitzy names on the plane but they weren’t the only superstars on the way.

Zinedine Zidane of France, Italy’s Alessandro Del Piero and Germany striker Miroslav Klose to name a few were set to light up the tournament.

And, of course, that incredible Brazil side dominated by legendary names – led by the original proprietor of Joga Bonito, Ronaldinho.

The Selecao would go on to win the World Cup that year as Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Roberto Carlos and co proved too strong for the rest of the world.

But arguably the most iconic moment of the competition came in the quarter-finals when Brazil met England and Ronaldinho met David Seaman.

Owen had put the Three Lions a goal up but Rivaldo equalised before the break and moments into the second-half, Ronaldinho stood over a free-kick from an impossible distance.

Those present at the Shizuoka Stadium on that summer’s day would see an iconic moment in football, as the Samba star saw Seaman off his line and planted one right in the top corner.

It became a moment so immortal that no one ever could ever replicate it – not even Ronaldinho himself.

Ronaldinho’s legendary free-kick became the most iconic moment of the 2002 World CupNews Group Newspapers Ltd

After spotting Seaman off his line slightly, Ronaldinho created magic to leave the England star grasping at thin airGetty Images – Getty

In 2015, 13 years after that incredible goal, Beckham had arranged a charity match with UNICEF that saw some of the biggest names meet again.

That included Ronaldinho, in a Rest of the World XI, and Seaman, in between the sticks for the Great Britain and Ireland XI.

So when the RoW XI had a free-kick on the edge of the area – there was always only one man who was going to step up to take it.

With that customary cheesy grin, Ronaldinho gave Seaman the eyes, reminding him of their encounter 13 years before without uttering a word.

And the England goalkeeper goaded him on, telling him that he could never repeat his antics with big smile of his own.

Ronaldinho went for it… no dice. The ball flew over the crossbar harmlessly and Seaman could breathe a huge sigh of relief.

To his credit, the former Arsenal star shared a laugh with the Barcelona legend in a show of sportsmanship and revelling in the charity match atmosphere.

But always the entertainer, Ronaldinho was not done yet and as his twinkling toes came again down the left-hand flank later in the contest, a quick glance saw Seaman off his line again.

Ronaldinho would try to catch Seaman again in 2015 in a charity matchAFP

But as the ball sailed over the crossbar, Seaman was wise to Ronaldinho’s plan

You don’t need to give someone like Ronaldinho a second opportunity and he later went to chip his foe-turned-friend but the result was the same – over the crossbar.

Seaman playfully stood with his hands on his hips and glared at the Brazilian, who like a cheeky toddler returned a giggle in what turned out to be the last kick of the game.

It is not often that the legends of the sport get to meet up again after prominent moments that shape the game and get the chance to recreate history.

But even the very best might find that such occasions belong to the archives where fans can replay them over and over again.
On Saturday 18 September 2016, Ronaldinho brought back memories of the 2002 FIFA World Cup with an exceptional free-kick against English hero, David Seaman. The legendary Brazilian striker managed to beat the Arsenal goalkeeper from a remarkable distance with the same impressive technique as he did during the World Cup game 14 years ago.

Ronaldinho’s iconic performance took place at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, as part of the Star Sixes tournament, in which legendary footballers compete in a six-a-side format. The Brazilian star’s team, which included Roberto Carlos, Mario Jardel and Fabio Cannavaro, faced a formidable team of English players, including Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, Jamie Redknapp and, surprisingly, David Seaman, who took to the field for the first time in 7 years.

In the opening minutes of the match, Ronaldinho lined up for a free-kick on the edge of the box. In a moment that would go down in Star Sixes history, Seaman scrambled, but was unable to reach the unstoppable shot as it flew into the top corner of the net.

Ronaldinho’s goal was a reminder of the magical free-kick he scored against England in the World Cup tournament of 2002 in Japan. Back then, through a series of flicks and tricks, he curved the ball around the wall and beyond the reach of an outstretched Seaman, unbalancing him and securing a famous victory for Brazil.

While Seaman was unable to stop him in 2016, the chance to play against Ronaldinho was an unparalleled moment for the former England goalkeeper. Despite being 11 years older than the Brazilian star, Seaman showed that age was no deterrent and that he still had the same agility and reflexes as he had during his playing days.

Saturday’s match was a perfect opportunity for two footballing legends to face-off once more and to relive a moment from the past. Ultimately, it was Ronaldinho who had the last laugh, as he left the MetLife Stadium with his team having beaten the English side 4-1.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *