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Ronaldinho: England World Cup 2002 goal my best ever

The 2005 Ballon d’Or winner has picked out a strike that played a big role in leading his country to glory in Japan and South Korea.

 Ronaldinho (file pic).
Ronaldinho (file pic).
Image: Clive Brunskill

RONALDINHO HAS PICKED the goal he scored against England at World Cup 2002 as the greatest of his illustrious career.

With the quarter-final between Brazil and the Three Lions locked at 1-1 after Michael Owen’s opener was cancelled out by Rivaldo, the Selecao were given a free kick around 40 yards from goal in a seemingly impossible position to score from.

However, the former Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and AC Milan star spotted that goalkeeper David Seaman had strayed from his line and sent a looping shot over his head and into the net. 

It proved the winner in the tie and sent the South American side on course to the final, where a couple of goals from Ronaldo saw them secure a 2-0 win over Germany.

And Ronaldinho, whose career was marked by many memorable strikes, including a stunning scissor kick against Osasuna in 2004 and a brilliant toepoke against Chelsea in the Champions League 12 months later, considers his effort against England to be a personal best.

“I scored some great goals, some over kick goals and from open play in my career and I would admit it is very hard picking my favourite,” Ronaldinho, who is on a three-day tour of Kenya told Goal.

“But scoring for the national team and against England in the quarter-finals was quite something. For that reason, I will pick the one against England just because I scored it for Brazil.”

The 2002 World Cup proved the highlight of a career that saw him twice claim the FIFPro World Player of the Year, the 2005 Ballon d’Or and, on a team level, two Spanish league titles, an Italian crown and the 2006 Champions League while with Barca.

During his career, which began in 1998 at Gremio, he played 728 senior club matches and scored 280 goals, while he enjoyed cult status at many of the teams he graced.

He confirmed his retirement from the game on January 16, 2018.

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