Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho insists Ronaldinho “meant to score” free-kick against England at the 2002 FIFA World Cup
Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho insists Ronaldinho “meant to score” his free-kick against England at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
The then Paris Saint-Germain attacker looped the ball over England goalkeeper David Seaman to put Brazil 2-1 ahead, a margin they would be victorious by.
It has always been disputed whether Ronaldinho was shooting, but Coutinho is in no doubt.
"Of course he meant to score," he told The Guardian. ”I remember the goal well and I have seen it many times since. I am sure he was trying to score.
“I take a few free-kicks myself but I would never try something like that because it would be too far out for me to score from there.”
England had taken the lead the through Michael Owen, before Rivaldo equalised in first half stoppage time. Ronaldinho netted five minutes after the break, but was sent off soon after.
He missed the 1-0 semi-final victory against Turkey, though returned as Brazil defeated Germany 2-0 in the final.