The forgotten members of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup winning squad

Everyone remembers when Ronaldinho, Rivaldo and Ronaldo won the 2002 World Cup, but some members of the Brazil squad have been forgotten

What comes to mind when you think of Brazil’s World Cup win in 2002?

David Seaman frantically back peddling, ponytail swinging in the wind, as England’s World Cup hopes sailed over his head?

CLAIM YOUR FREE £20 BET Sun Bets are offering this great offer when you sign up and bet a fiver

David Seaman is beaten by Ronaldinho’s free-kick in England’s 2-1 defeat to Brazil

Is it the holy trinity of Ronaldinho, Rivaldo and Ronaldo tearing teams apart with swagger and grace rarely seen in the regimented modern game?

But not every member of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup squad was an international star, heralded domestically and abroad.

So here’s to the players that never get a mention. The other guys.

Can you name number 14?

Anderson Polga

The 23-year-old Gremio defender came into the World Cup with five international caps to his name.

He was given a chance in Brazil’s second game, a 4-0 routine win against China, and kept his place for the next game, against Costa Rica, as part of a back three.

However that was the last football he’d see in the tournament, with Roque Junior taking his place alongside Lucio and Edmilson for the remaining three games, including the final against Germany.

Polga only stayed in Brazil for another year before moving to Sporting Club de Portugal, where he stayed for nine years, winning four trophies.

Polga played twice at the 2002 World Cup


Elegant deep-lying playmaker Ricardinho played a pivotal role in Corinthians’ Campeonato Paulista win in 2001, leading to a call-up to the national squad.

Kaka, who had two caps, was the only squad member to have played fewer games for Brazil than Ricardinho heading into the tournament.

His playing time was further limited by Gilberto Silva and Kleberson, who occupied the deeper roles in midfield, and he only got onto the pitch once, for a 29 minute cameo against Costa Rica.

Ricardinho joined Sao Paulo off the back of the tournament, before spells with Middlesbrough, Santos, Corinthians, Besiktas, Al Rayyan, Atletico Mineiro and Bahia. Did someone say journeyman?

Ricardinho battles with Rivaldo in a training session


In 1994 two Brazilians arrived in PSV. One was Ronaldo, the other was midfielder Vampeta. They’d link up again at Inter in 2000, although Vampeta never really got a look in.

By 2002 he was one of three Corinthians players in the squad although, like team-mate Ricardinho, his playing time was limited in South Korean and Japan.

The 28-year-old came off the bench to replace Juninho in the 2-1 opening game win against nine-man Turkey, seeing out the last 18 minutes as Rivaldo’s late penalty snatched three points.

After the tournament Vampeta continued globetrotting, playing for five Brazilian sides and Kuwait SC in the Kuwaiti Premier League.

Vampeta (left) sitting next to team-mate Ricardinho


At 30 Edilson was one of the elderly statesman of Brazil’s travelling party, to the extent that only captain Cafu was older.

Luiz Felipe Scolari picked Edilson more for his international form- he’d scored four in seven for Brazil in 2001- than his domestic form.

The Cruzeiro striker came on for Ronaldo against China, started the 5-2 win over Costa Rica, was a substitute against England and started the semi-final win against Turkey.

Despite not scoring he racked up 128 minutes in the World Cup before venturing from Brazil to Japan, via the United Arab Emirates, after the tournament.

Edilson evades the attention of three England players


Luiz Bombonato Goulart, aka Luizao, had a rather strange World Cup.

The 26-year-old twice replaced Ronaldo, both times against Turkey, amounting to 61 minutes of football.

But Hertha Berlin saw enough to bring him to the Bundesliga, where he lasted two years, scoring four goals, before moving back to Brazil.

That’s where he stayed, aside from a season in Japan playing for Nagoya Grampus Eight, ending his career with Sao Caetano in Brazi’s second tier.

Luizao attempts an acrobatic effort against Turkey