Former Arsenal start Gilberto Silva admits being bowled over by reaction to 2002 World Cup triumph
Former Brazil midfielder Gilberto Silva has confessed to not knowing just how important winning the World Cup would be at the time, or in future years, in an interview with the UK sports channel BT Sport.
The ex-Arsenal and Panathinaikos enforcer helped earn the Selecao their sixth global success 12 years ago and said: "It's still hard to believe I won the World Cup for my country."
"I was one of the younger players at the time and I didn't really think about the responsibility. It was only when we returned to Brazil with the trophy that I understood what it meant to the people. For them, football has always been a source of joy and hope."
The 37 year-old quit playing duties at the end of the last Brazilian season, having bowed out on a high by winning the Copa Libertadores with Atletico Mineiro and amassing a most impressive 93 caps for his country in a nine year period.