Rivaldo insists Ronaldinho MEANT to lob Seaman at the 2002 World Cup

‘He tried to surprise him’: Ronaldinho MEANT to lob David Seaman with famous strike at 2002 World Cup, according to Rivaldo – with Brazil star aware the England goalkeeper always strayed off his line

  • Brazil knocked England out of the 2002 World Cup in the quarter-finals in 2002
  • Ronaldinho scored the winning goal with a free-kick from long range 
  • The Barcelona icon caught David Seaman off his line from overs 40 yards 

Ronaldinho did mean to lob England goalkeeper David Seaman at the 2002 World Cup, according to his former Brazil team-mate Rivaldo. 

Sven-Goran Eriksson’s team crashed out of the tournament in the quarter-finals when they suffered a 2-1 defeat to eventual winners Brazil, Ronaldinho scoring an unforgettable winner in the second half.

The Barcelona legend, then in the early stages of his career, caught Seaman off-guard when he found the top corner with a free-kick from the right, over 40 yards from goal.

Ronaldinho shoots to score Brazil’s winning goal against England at the 2002 World cup

Fans have speculated over the years as to whether or not Ronaldinho did it on purpose, or if it was a fortuitous over-hit cross.

And Rivaldo, who scored Brazil’s other goal that day, insists it was no fluke.  

The 47-year-old told Betfair: ‘I remember well that match against England at World Cup 2002 in which we won 2-1.

‘Ronaldinho gave a brilliant performance that day, setting up an excellent play and assisting me for our first goal.

Rivaldo (L) insists his Brazil team-mate meant to find the net with the long range free-kick

‘My goal was important for us, as we managed to equalise right before half-time.

‘Then at the second half, he scored that famous goal from way outside the box that surprised David Seaman and all the world, me included.

‘I never thought he could try such strike, but it worked perfectly.

‘After the match, he told me that he knew that Seaman had that tendency to take one or two steps forward at free kicks and so he tried to surprise him.’

Seaman could only watch as Ronaldinho’s effort made its way over him and into the net

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Coronavirus: Former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder Alex Song sacked after FC Sion propose wage cuts

Former Arsenal and Barcelona player Alex Song has taken his case to Fifa after being sacked by FC Sion.

The 32-year-old was one of nine players to lose his job when the Swiss side proposed reducing the wage bill of the first team as an emergency measure during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Swiss players’ union has indicated its support for the players, with Song intending to take legal action.

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“My lawyer will take care of it, it’s gone to Fifa,” the former Cameroon international told French broadcaster RMC.

“We’re going to defend our right. We played a friendly on Friday and we were supposed to meet with the president on Monday, then Tuesday. We had no news.

“We received a WhatsApp message on Tuesday afternoon to tell us that everyone had to sign a paper saying that we’d reduce our salaries, that we’d be paid around €12,000.

“We had to return the paper by 12pm the next day. We received this document without an explanation.”

He added: “We decided together to not sign this document. We wanted to discuss it.

“I’ve not committed any professional mistake. Every club talks to their players to reach solutions.

“I don’t understand what’s happened. Nobody can understand it.”

Numerous clubs have reduced the wages of their players and coaching staff due to the financial impact of coronavirus, including some of Europe’s biggest teams.

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in Spain and Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in Germany are among those to have cut wages.

In some cases, such as Bayern and Dortmund’s, the cuts to players’ wages were voluntary.


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Alex Song claims ‘unfair dismissal’ following FC Sion sacking

Former Arsenal and West Ham midfielder Alex Song has taken his case to FIFA following his sacking by FC Sion.

Song was one of nine players dismissed by the Swiss side for refusing to take a pay cut as an emergency measure following the impact of coronavirus pandemic.

FC Sion insist Song and eight team-mates refused the new terms and were sacked with immediate effect following the suspension of the Swiss Super League.

The Swiss players’ union has indicated it’s support for the players, with Song intending to claim ‘unfair dismissal’.

Song told French broadcaster RMC: “My lawyer will take care of it, it’s gone to FIFA. We’re going to defend our right.

“We played a friendly on Friday and we were supposed to meet with the president on Monday, then Tuesday. We had no news.

“We received a WhatsApp message on Tuesday afternoon to tell us that everyone had to sign a paper saying that we’d reduce our salaries, that we’d be paid around 12,000 euros.

“We had to return the paper by 12pm the next day. We received this document without an explanation.”

He added: “We decided together to not sign this document. We wanted to discuss it.

“I’ve not committed any professional mistake. Every club talks to their players to reach solutions.

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Heskey believes Werner would be a 'phenomenal asset' for Liverpool

Emile Heskey believes Timo Werner would be a ‘phenomenal asset’ for Liverpool after the striker admitted he would be open to Anfield move

  • Emile Heskey believes Liverpool should try and sign Timo Werner this summer
  • Werner has been linked with an Anfield move after another impressive season
  • Heskey said Reds boss Klopp should ‘get his teeth stuck into him’ this window 

Former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey believes Jurgen Klopp will ‘get his teeth stuck into’ RB Leipzig star Timo Werner in the summer transfer window. 

Heskey, who played for the Reds for four seasons, tipped the German striker as an exceptional talent. Liverpool have shown interest in Werner for months and it is believed a deal could materialise in the upcoming window. 

Werner has admitted that he would be open to a move to Anfield and has a release clause of £52million.  

Former Liverpool man Emile Heskey believes Timo Werner would be a great addition 

Werner admitted he would be open to an Anfield move after another impressive season

‘Timo Werner is a young player who has done phenomenally well,’ Heskey told GentingBet. 

‘When you’re bringing in young players, you want ones that are tried and tested, who know what it takes to perform at the top level.

Klopp has been a long-term admirer of the fellow German and Heskey believes he would be a valuable asset to the Premier League leaders.  

Heskey said Klopp ‘knows a lot about the German league’ and should ‘get his teeth stuck in’

‘Those players are always going to be an asset. Werner looks phenomenal – his pace looks great.

‘Klopp obviously knows a lot about the German league as well, so I’m sure he’ll be keen to get his teeth stuck into him.’ 

Werner has become hot property for Europe’s elite after impressing in the Bundesliga this season with 21 goals and seven assists in 25 matches.  

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Man Utd handed Jadon Sancho breakthrough, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal latest

Sunday, March 29

  • Manchester United have been handed hope in their pursuit of Jadon Sancho.
  • Timo Werner may already have a shirt preference if he was to join Liverpool.
  • Express Sport understands Chelsea have made an approach to sign Gianluigi Donnarumma.
  • Follow Express Sport for all the latest transfer rumours from the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and more.

Man Utd handed Jadon Sancho transfer boost

Manchester United have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Jadon Sancho, with Borussia Dortmund chief Hans-Joachim Watzke admitting he would ‘respect’ what the player wants.

However, Watzke also warned anybody hoping to sign the England international this summer would have to stump up the cash because the Bundesliga side aren’t in need of the funds.

United are frontrunners in the race to sign Sancho at present despite the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, PSG, Barcelona and Real Madrid being keen too.

And Dortmund chief Watzke, while admitting he’d like to keep the 20-year-old, has admitted he’ll respect the wishes of the player.

“Even before the coronavirus outbreak, we said that we prefer that Jadon stays with us,” Watzke told Bild.

“At the end of the day, however, you always have to respect what the player wants.”

Timo Werner would have Liverpool number preference

By the start of next season, Timo Werner could be a Liverpool player. The Reds appear to be at the front of the queue for his signature and there is optimism on Merseyside that a deal can be done.

He reportedly has a release clause in the region of £50million which is due to expire at the end of April.

If he was to seal a switch to Anfield, it looks like he will have his work cut out selecting a shirt number.

Numbers 16, 17 and 19 are all available but would leave Werner pretty short of choice.

But if history is anything to go by, there is one number Werner would definitely fancy.

Werner wore the No 19 shirt at Stuttgart, the club where he first burst onto the scene.

For that reason, it’s more than likely that he would happily wear it again. It has huge sentimental value to him already.


  • Paul Pogba staying at Man Utd has taken a giant step closer

Chelsea make contact for Gianluigi Donnarumma transfer

Express Sport understands Chelsea have asked super-agent Mino Raiola to keep them updated on contract talks between AC Milan and highly-rated goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The Italian international is entering into the final 12 months of his contract and Milan want to tie him down to a longer-term deal as soon as they can.

But renowned hard negotiator Raiola is aware that interest is high with Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain as well as The Blues courting his client and is ready to play hard-ball.

Donnarumma, 21, is rated at around £55million by Milan which wouldn’t be a problem for Chelsea who are looking to sell Spanish shot-stopper Kepa this summer.

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Arsenal news LIVE: Mikel Arteta eyes two Real Madrid stars as transfer plan emerges

Arsenal news LIVE updates: All the latest news and transfer gossip from the Emirates Stadium

Sunday, March 29

  • Mikel Arteta looking at Real Madrid flop Luka Jovic, who is also attracting interest from Chelsea and Tottenham
  • Arsenal boss also considering summer swoop for Los Blancos playmaker James Rodriguez
  • Arteta is planning to raid the Spanish market in the upcoming transfer window as he bids to revamp his squad

Wanted: Luka Jovic

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is considering a swoop for Real Madrid flop Luka Jovic, according to the Daily Star.

The Serbia international joined Los Blancos for £55million from Eintracht Frankfurt last summer but has fallen behind Karim Benzema and Mariano in the pecking order.

Jovic has been earmarked as a replacement for Alexandre Lacazette because he is a different style of player, capable of leading the line as a traditional target man.

Chelsea and Tottenham are also monitoring developments surrounding the 22-year-old’s future.

Wanted: James Rodriguez

Arsenal could raid the Bernabeu for a second player in the form of James Rodriguez.

According to MARCA, the Gunners remain interested in the Colombia international, who had no appetite for a move to the Premier League last summer.

It is claimed Rodriguez is running out of options, however, and is now warming to the prospect of heading to England.

Carlo Ancelotti was interested in signing Rodriguez for Napoli last summer but has not joined the race at current club Everton.

Arsenal planning to raid Spanish market

It appears that raiding La Liga is the plan for Arsenal and Arteta.

According to Sky Sports, the Gunners head coach is looking to make signings from his native country in the next transfer window.

Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler has emerged as a target for Arteta.

He is under contract at the Mestalla until the summer of 2023 so Emirates Stadium chiefs will have to raid their transfer kitty.

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Xavi says he is ‘ready’ to manage Barcelona just two months after rejecting job

Xavi believes he is ready to manage Barcelona but insists there cannot be any “toxicity” in the dressing room.

The midfielder spent the majority of his playing career with Barcelona, from 1998 to 2015, playing more than 700 matches.

During his time at the club he won eight La Liga titles and lifted four Champions League trophies and also played a crucial role in Spain’s three successive major tournament wins at Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012.

In recent years he has moved into management with Qatar Stars League club Al Sadd, where he finished his playing career.

“I am clear that I want to return to Barcelona, I am very excited,” Xavi said in an interview with La Vanguardia.

“Now that I have seen myself coaching I think I can bring things to the players.

“But I made it clear to them that I saw myself in a project that started from zero and in which the decision-making was mine.”

Barcelona have already shown an interest in their former midfielder, reportedly approaching Xavi for the job before Ernesto Valverde was sacked in January, but the Spaniard did not think it was the right time.

On that decision, he added: “I have no problem: I don’t hide, I don’t take it back.

“I would like to work together with people in whom I have confidence, with whom there is loyalty and who are very valid people.

“There can’t be anyone toxic around the dressing room.”

  • Barcelona to reduce staff and player wages
  • Pele: Forget Ronaldo vs Messi – I’m the greatest

Outlining what he would want to see in his Barcelona team, Xavi labelled several of their current side – including Lionel Messi, defender Gerard Pique and goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen – the best in the world in their respective positions and midfielder Frenkie De Jong and Arthur as players to “win for 10 more years”.

Addressing the wide positions, he evoked the possible return of Neymar or a move for Borussia Dortmund and England’s Jadon Sancho or fellow Bundesliga star Serge Gnabry of Bayern Munich.

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Real Madrid’s Luka Jovic doing his best to ‘ruin his career’ – former Frankfurt coach

Luka Jovic has been accused of trying to “ruin his career” at Real Madrid by a former coach of his previous club Eintracht Frankfurt, fellow Serb Dragoslav Stepanovic.

Jovic has failed to impress in his first season in Spain, scoring just twice in 24 games since his summer switch from Bundesliga side Frankfurt.

And the Serbia international found himself in trouble with authorities in his home country last week for breaching coronavirus self-isolation measures.

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Speaking to Kurir, Stepanovic – who played for Eintracht in the 1970s and spent two spells there as manager in the ‘90s – said of Jovic: “He is the only man who does 100 per cent to ruin his career.

“Jovic works against himself. He was lucky that Adi Hutter gave him a shot at Eintracht and then made the biggest transfer in Serbia’s history and went to Madrid. I can’t believe what the boy is doing to himself.

“I read the media in Serbia and I know what life he had, that as a child he slept in his car with his father to wait until morning to train.

“What a sacrifice he made, and then this. I don’t know, Luka obviously doesn’t think about himself. 

“When they tell you it’s a ban [self-isolation], you pretend you didn’t understand anything! You better shut up, don’t talk. I can’t believe he did something like this.”

Jovic said he was given the wrong instructions about self-isolation, and apologised for breaching protocol.

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Liverpool 'prepared to sell Xherdan Shaqiri for £28m this summer'

Liverpool ‘prepared to sell Xherdan Shaqiri for £28m this summer’ with Sevilla ‘leading chase’ for Swiss winger who has played just 256 minutes this season

  • Shaqiri ‘will be sold this summer with Liverpool looking to get £28m for winger’ 
  • Swiss international has started just two Premier League matches this season
  • Liverpool rebuffed loan offers in January but are now willing to sell Shaqiri
  • Sevilla, Roma and CSKA Moscow reportedly interested in signing 28-year-old 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Sevilla ‘are preparing to swoop for Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri’ after the Anfield club said he could leave.

The 28-year-old Switzerland winger has found game time extremely limited this season with Jurgen Klopp’s team cantering towards the Premier League title before the coronavirus pandemic suspended football.

Shaqiri has played just 256 minutes of first-team football during an injury-affected campaign, starting just two Premier League matches.

Liverpool ‘are prepared to sell Switzerland winger Xherdan Shaqiri’ this summer for £28m

Shaqiri has played just 256 minutes for Jurgen Klopp’s successful side this season so far

And, according to Football Insider, Liverpool have given him the green light to find a new club ahead of the summer transfer window.

Having rebuffed loan offers in January, Liverpool have placed an asking price of £28million on Shaqiri, which would be more than double the £13m they paid to sign him from Stoke City in the summer of 2018.

And La Liga club Sevilla are reportedly the front-runners and are poised to table a bid once football resumes following the coronavirus crisis.

However, they may face competition from Roma and CSKA Moscow for a player who has made 40 appearances for Liverpool in total.

Shaqiri hasn’t made a Liverpool matchday squad since coming off the bench in the final minute of their 1-0 win at Tottenham on January 11.

Sevilla, Roma and CSKA Moscow are reportedly interested in signing 28-year-old Shaqiri

The form of Liverpool’s other attacking players has seen them establish a 25-point lead at the top of the Premier League and various injury niggles have not helped Shaqiri’s cause.


In all competitions 

Matches: 10

Starts: 3

Minutes: 256

Goals: 1

Shaqiri has a contract at Anfield that runs until 2023 but Liverpool are prepared to let him go three years early.

That’s despite Klopp describing Shaqiri as ‘a very special player’ when discussing his injury problems back in January.

The Liverpool manager said: ‘It’s not cool, absolutely not cool. But maybe there are different reasons, for sure.

‘Shaq is a very special player in different departments. His physique is different to all others I ever saw, his muscles are unbelievable.

‘It [the injury] is never ‘big’ so far, but it was always enough to get him out. I can imagine that’s frustrating.

‘It’s frustrating for him, it’s not cool for us, but not to change.’


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Sir Alex Ferguson’s role in England’s lack of success explained by Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand believes Sir Alex Ferguson played his part in England underperforming during the 2000s with his threats to Manchester United stars.

The Scot would regularly warn players how he did not want to see them getting much game time at international level.

Ferguson saw the breaks as a hinderance for his team, as he preferred to see United’s players rest.

United stars could come back injured or fatigued following time away with their respective nations.

And as that would be detrimental for the Red Devils, it wound up Ferguson, and he let his players know.

Explaining why England underperformed so often, Ferdinand explained on an Instagram Live: “I think Fergie might have played a little part in it as well, because he was so clever.

“You’d be going away, you’d finish a game on Saturday, you’d win a game on Saturday, and he’d go, ‘Right, I’ll see you after the international break boys’.

“And he’ll go like, ‘You, you and you, if you play more than 45 minutes I’m going to kill you when you get back’.

“So it would be in the back of your mind, you’d be thinking, ‘Oh my god, I’m under pressure when I come back’.

“I’d have played 90 minutes and you’re walking into training and he’s sitting looking at you like that [furious], ‘What did I tell you?’ It was mad.”

  • Gary Neville calls for 12-month transfer window to help football catch up

England failed to make it out of the group stage at Euro 2000, while arguably their best squad in recent times crashed out of the World Cup quarter-finals to Brazil in 2002.

In 2004 as well, the Three Lions had a top side under Sven-Goran Eriksson but were beaten by Portugal in the quarter-finals.

Another World Cup quarter-final exit followed in 2006, while they failed to even qualify for Euro 2008 during a bleak era for English football.

Discussing the England lineup at the time, during the early and mid-2000s, Ferdinand continued: “On paper that was probably the best team England have had for years and years and years, probably since 1966 on paper.

“But we played 4-4-2, a rigid 4-4-2, and in games against teams like Turkey or Tunisia – teams we should be smashing out of the park – they filled the midfield and ended up popping us all game, dictating the game against us, because we didn’t have enough bodies in there.

“Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good the players are, if you’re outnumbered, you’re outnumbered. That’s it.

“We had great players, but I felt the managers that we had probably weren’t strong enough in saying, ‘Right, I’m going to leave a Beckham out, a Scholes out, a Gerrard or a Lampard – one of them has got to sit out’.”

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