Rivaldo established himself as a crucial name and one of Brazil’s main stars in winning a fifth World Cup in 2002, but what few know is that the Pernambuco native was on the verge of leaving the team shortly before the World Cup kicked off.
– I said: “I don’t think Felipao will put me. If he doesn’t put me, I will leave” – reveals the former athlete, in an interview with Palm trees He slanders.
Rivaldo’s conversation was over the phone and with Carlito Areni, who worked for many years as sporting director and was the one who had to absorb the shock of the news.
We talked a lot and he turned to me and said: “I will return to Brazil, and I will not play in the World Cup.” I said: Are you hurt? And he: “No, no. If he (Felipao) doesn’t put me on tomorrow, I’ll take my things and leave” – says Carlito, who also participates in the podcast.
– If you don’t know the person, say: “Oh, he’s bluffing.” But I knew he was leaving. He adds: I already thought: The day after tomorrow I will receive it from the airport.
Rivaldo’s top 10 goals in Brazilian football
the previous-Palm treesSao Paulo, Corinthians, Barcelona and 10 other clubs throughout his career. Rivaldo says his position at the time was due to the fear of being excluded from the World Cup – especially after returning from injury and missing the previous World Cup, in 1998, to France.
– I’m grateful to Felipao for everything he did, taking me to the World Cup while I was injured and so on. But he was recovering, and he played the Malaysia match, and that was the week of the match and he did not say which team he would play. He said some and I… I put Denilson on, one by one, and he took me out. The player likes to be confirmed immediately in order to focus – says Rivaldo, with a smile on his face.
– It was at this moment. Maybe I wouldn’t have done it, I don’t know. But losing the World Cup like it happened, he had the opportunity to play, come with everything, and recover. I say: No, for God’s sake, don’t leave me.
The concern actually exists because of the way Rivaldo sees the player’s path to the World Cup. At that time, there were seven matches until the final, and from a striker’s point of view, the athlete needed to give a 100% performance from the first match.
In 2002, Brazil beat Türkiye in the World Cup
– Since I came back from the World Cup losing, I went to 2002 injured, so you say: I have to play the first match and play well.
– I went up to the World Cup for the match against Turkey, scored the penalty kick goal, gave the pass to Ronaldo and that was it. Because one match or so, the press ruins it. It happened with Giovanni. He didn’t do anything to be substituted and he didn’t play anything else, but he went to the World Cup for 45 minutes, from being a starter to not playing for another minute – he concludes.
10 years of pentathlon: Brazil beats Turkey in its 2002 World Cup debut
In the end, Rivaldo stayed in the World Cup, making his debut against Turkey – setting up the win from the penalty spot, 2-1 – and was decisive with five goals in the title campaign, as well as being named second best player in the competition. Behind only goalkeeper Oliver Kahn. The path that remains in memory – which the attacker always remembers.
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