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Rivaldo’s goal the last time Brazil played Belgium was pure, unadulterated joy

Chest, touch, swivel, volley. Rivaldo's goal for Brazil against Belgium at the 2002 World Cup was so Brazilian it came with a Brahma

The best goal ever scored by a bowlegged Brazilian?

If you’ve said anything other than Rivaldo’s strike against Belgium at the 2002 World Cup then you need to have a long hard look at yourself.

Brazil and Belgium, who’ll face off in the quarter-final of the 2018 World Cup, have history when it when it comes to the tournament.


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Good choice of deodorant

EPA
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Good choice of deodorant

On 17 July 2002 the pair met in the round of 16 with the right to play the mighty England in the quarter-finals at stake.

Brazil had breezed through a group containing Turkey, Costa Rica and China with three wins and four goals from Ronaldo.

By contrast, Belgium had drawn their opening two games and relied on a narrow 3-2 win against Russia in their final group match to sneak through in second place.

A kit fit for the rave

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A kit fit for the rave

Not that you would have been able to tell after the first hour of the game. Belgium’s robust approach had kept Brazil’s mavericks at bay.

Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo and Denilson- between them possessing more flair than Mark Lawrenson’s shirt collection- had failed to break through.

As the clock ticked into the 66th minute Cafu worked the ball out wide to Ronaldinho.

With space typically tight Ronaldinho chopped inside before spooning a ball towards the edge of the box with the outside of his foot.

You’ve got to be in it to win it

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You’ve got to be in it to win it

It wasn’t quite hit and hope but it did have an air of Sunday League desperation about it, even if the cross was delivered in Samba style.

What happened next was calculated genius.

Rivaldo, unconcerned with team-mate Denilson nearly jumping on his toes, controlled the ball on his chest before caressing it with his languid left foot.

Watch out for the traffic jam

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Watch out for the traffic jam

It’s all gone very quiet

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It’s all gone very quiet

Before Belgium knew what was happening Rivaldo had swivelled round and snapped a shot past Geert De Vlieger.

Belgium’s resolve was broken, with Ronaldo adding the gloss in the 87th minute.

Brazil went on to beat England in a completely forgettable encounter with no outstanding goals before ticking off Turkey and Germany to win the World Cup.

Sixteen years later and England and Brazil are once more on a World Cup collision course, but this time there isn’t a ponytail or overhit cross in sight.