Where are they now? Brazil’s XI that won the 2002 World Cup


On June 21, 2002, England were famously beaten 2-1 by Brazil in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

England actually took the lead in Shizuoka through Michael Owen, but they could not hold on and were eventually pegged back by a slick Rivaldo goal and Ronaldinho’s famous free-kick which caught out David Seaman.

Brazil went on to defeat Turkey and Germany on their way to lifting the trophy, and we’ve revisited their XI to see what they went on to achieve.


A stalwart for Palmeiras, for whom he made over 500 appearances in a 20-year spell for the club, Marcos only won 29 caps for Brazil between 1999-2005, but he played in every game of their World Cup triumph.

Arsenal agreed a deal to sign Marcos in January 2003, only for the goalkeeper to turn down a move to stay with Palmeiras, who had just been relegated to the second tier of Brazilian football.

He finally called it a day in 2012, with Palmeiras retiring his No.12 shirt, and is now an ambassador at the club.

Roque Junior

A solid member of Brazil’s back three in 2002, Roque Junior is best remembered in England for a calamitous spell at Leeds which ended in relegation.

Plenty of Leeds fans were excited by the arrival of a World Cup and Champions League winner, but in his seven appearances, the Whites conceded 24 goals.

The defender went on to play for six more clubs, and following a couple of jobs in management, he most recently worked as sporting director at Brazilian club Ferroviaria up until December 2019.


Now we’re talking. A bona-fide legend of the Brazil team, Lucio won 105 caps for his country, three league titles with Bayern Munich and a treble with Inter.

“He doesn’t have great feet, but he defends well,” King of the compliments Jose Mourinho said of Lucio, who announced his retirement in January 2020 at the age of 41.


An often overlooked figure for Brazil and Barcelona, Edmilson was always a dependable presence whether operating in defence or midfield.

After winning two league titles and the Champions League with Barca, his career petered out with short-lived spells at Villarreal, Palmeiras, Zaragoza and Ceara.

Since then he has worked in Brazilian television, but we’ll never forget his overhead kick against Costa Rica.


The most capped Brazil player of all time, the captain of the World Cup-winning side and one of the best right-backs ever, Cafu was given even more license to bomb forward as a wing-back in 2002 as he played in his third-consecutive final.

“If there is one man who has made sacrifices and lent himself to the cause of the Brazil team, this man is Cafu,” Luiz Felipe Scolari said of Cafu. “He has been my commander on the field.”

Since retiring in 2008, Cafu has left football to pursue business interests. He could probably still get a game if he really wanted to.

Gilberto Silva

Brazil is hardly associated with defensive midfielders, but Gilberto Silva played a crucial role in 2002, anchoring the midfield to allow the more creative players run riot in attack.

His performances at the World Cup led to a move to Arsenal, where he obviously made an impression on Arsene Wenger.

“He is, for me, class,” he said. “Modesty, humility, on a human front a top-class person. He was ready to sacrifice himself for the team.”

Since retiring Gilberto has helped set up a players’ union in Brazil and also has a giant anteater named after him in London Zoo, which means he is now our favourite footballer.


Like Roque Junior, another curious case who fans in England cannot believe won a World Cup. Kleberson became the first ever Brazilian to play for Manchester United and was signed at the same time as Cristiano Ronaldo.

When asked what went wrong for the midfielder at Old Trafford in 2013, Sir Alex Ferguson replied: “[He] paid too much attention to what his wife wanted.”

To his credit, just when everyone thought Kleberson’s career was over, he returned to Brazil to win the title with Flamengo and was even named in the squad for the 2010 World Cup.

He finished his playing career with Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the NASL before rejoining the Philadelphia Union as a youth coach.

Roberto Carlos

With Cafu on one flank, Brazil completed the pair of possibly the greatest wing-backs of all time with Roberto Carlos and his intimidatingly huge thighs.

“His left leg seems to be made of iron,” Jaap Stam once commented on the left-back, whose post-retirement foray into management has not gone to plan with Sivasspor, Akhisar Belediyespor or the Delhi Dynamos.


Kicking off the devastating frontline of the ‘Three Rs’, Ronaldinho’s 2002 World Cup campaign will always be remembered for his audacious free-kick which caught out David Seaman in the quarter-final.

It is often forgotten he was actually sent off in that game, missing the semi-final through suspension before returning for the final.

One of the most entertaining footballers of all time, Ronaldinho did not actually officially announce his retirement until January 2018, two and a half years since he’d last played for Fluminense.


One of the more experienced Brazil players at the World Cup, Rivaldo enjoyed a brilliant tournament, scoring five times, including the equaliser against England.

A star at Barcelona in his pomp, Rivaldo has remarkably outlasted many of his team-mates from 2012, and was still playing and scoring for Brazilian minnows Mogi Mirim – alongside his own son, no less – in 2015.


O Fenomeno. Ronaldo may have already suffered two debilitating knee injuries by this point in his career, but he was still capable of being the most thrilling striker in the world.

Eight goals at the World Cup, including two in the final, brought him level with Pele’s record of 12, which he went on to break four years later.

Persistent fitness issues continued to dog Ronaldo for the rest of his career, but still, what a player.

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Rivaldo: The story of a great player in a not so great Barcelona team

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