Today (30) completes 20 years of winning the fifth world championship. The 2002 World Cup, played in Japan and Korea, was the last one won by the Brazilian team. The late-night matches, the rhythm of Olodum, Ronaldo Fenômeno’s “cascão” hair and Galvão Bueno’s remarkable narration are still in the minds of Brazilian fans.
Also, of course, there are the epic conquest throws. The “Mandrake” penalty suffered by Luizão in his debut against Turkey; Ronaldinho Gaúcho’s anthological free-kick goal in the quarter-finals against England; Ronaldo’s “pout” goal in the semifinal, again against Turkey, and Oliver Kahn’s chicken in the final against Germany.
20 years after this achievement, the UOL Esporte brings a summary of how life is going for each of the winners of that tournament.
Goalkeeper in the conquest, Marcos played professionally until 2012. Currently, at 48 years old, “São Marcos” became a businessman and owns a beer brand. In recent times, he ended up appearing more for controversial praise and defenses of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) and came to defend absurd theories against science, such as questioning the vaccination of children.
Reserve goalkeeper in the conquest, Dida played professionally until 2015. For the Brazilian team, he played in the 2006 World Cup, as a starter. At the age of 48, he has been goalkeeping coach at Milan since 2020, a club where he is an idol.
Third goalkeeper in that World Cup, Rogério Ceni played professionally on the field until 2015. At 49, he is the coach of the team in which he was the biggest idol. Before, he passed through Fortaleza, Flamengo and Cruzeiro.
Captain of the conquest, immortalized by lifting the cup in an improvised way and honoring his wife, he is the only player in football history to play in three consecutive World Cup finals (1994, 1998 and 2002). At the age of 50, he is an ambassador for the Qatar World Cup, a kind of poster boy, with the mission of participating in events, visiting stadiums and giving interviews about the legacy of the World Cup in the country.
The ex-back is repeatedly the target of jokes on the internet for being considered “party rice” – he usually participates in several raffles and awards as a guest due to his achievements in football, which yields online jokes.
Reserve right-back at the 2002 World Cup, Belleti played professionally until 2011, when he retired with the Fluminense shirt. At the age of 46, Belletti defines himself, on his official website, as a football coach, speaker, CEO of Belletti Sports, co-owner and technical director of the Belletti Soccer Academy franchise network, honorary member of the Instituto Êxito de Empreendedorismo and Influencer Linkedin.
Defender of the conquest, Lúcio played professionally until 2020, when he ended his career at Brasiliense. Currently, 44 years old, the former defender participates in masters matches for teams he defended and works as a digital influencer for some brands.
Lúcio’s partner in the starting line-up, Roque Júnior, 45, was a commentator for SporTV until March 2022. After a year in the role, he resigned, arguing that he wanted time to study, as he wants to work as a football manager.
Considered the big surprise when coach Luiz Felipe Scolari was called up, Anderson Polga played professionally until 2012, when he ended his career with the Corinthians shirt. At 43 years old, he works with a construction company in Porto Alegre.
The winning left-back, Roberto Carlos, 49, is one of Real Madrid’s ambassadors. With the national team shirt, he also played in the 2006 World Cup. He retired from professional football in 2012, when he wore the shirt of Anzhi, from Russia.
Roberto Carlos’s reserve in 2002, Júnior is 49 years old and does not have any activity related to football. From time to time, he participates in sports programs on TV and on the internet. He retired in 2010, after a short stint at Goiás.
One of Felipão’s starting midfielders, Edmílson is president and founder of Futebol Clube SKA Brasil, in Santana de Parnaíba, in the interior of São Paulo. The place has its own structure, in which the former player makes partnerships with institutions that train professionals for football. Currently 45 years old, he retired in 2011 after a short stint in Ceará.
Also starting in the 2002 conquest, Gilberto Silva is an ambassador for Arsenal, from England — a club of which he is an idol — and he also has an academy in Belo Horizonte (MG). Currently 45 years old, he also defended Brazil in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. He retired in 2013 with the Atlético-MG shirt.
“Joker” by Felipão in 2002, Kléberson was one of the protagonists of the fifth championship. Currently, 43 years old, he is assistant coach for Philadelphia Union II, MLS Next Pro, in the United States, the country where he ended his playing career in 2017. For the national team, he also played in the 2010 World Cup.
One of the most folkloric players in the history of Brazilian football, Vampeta was responsible for somersaulting down the ramp of the Palácio do Planalto during the team’s visit to then-President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, after winning the World Cup. At 48 years old, he is a commentator for Jovem Pan.
A reserve midfielder in 2002, Ricardinho is 46 years old and is currently a commentator for Grupo Globo, participating in broadcasts by SporTV and open TV. He is also the founder of the social project Maestro da Bola, which works with people with intellectual disabilities. He retired in 2011 after defending Bahia and had a short coaching career.
Felipão’s owner, Ronaldinho Gaúcho participates in master team games and travels the world for publicity commitments. Despite never having officially announced the end of his career, the 42-year-old former midfielder, twice the best in the world, has not played professionally since 2016, when he defended Fluminense.
On the internet, it is routinely joked about for the “random rides” in which it appears. The former player was arrested in 2020 after trying to enter Paraguay with a false passport and identity, but has since been released.
Known as “Denilson Show”, for being a skilled player, the former midfielder is a commentator for the Band and also has a podcast for the group. The 44-year-old has been retired from football since 2010.
Another reserve in Felipão’s squad, Juninho Paulista is Brazil’s technical coordinator and works together with Tite to prepare the team for the Qatar World Cup in 2022. Currently 49 years old, he played professionally until 2010, when he retired from Ituano club that revealed it.
Youngest player in the green and yellow squad, Kaká was a promise in 2002. After becoming the best in the world with the Milan shirt, Kaká left football in 2017, at the age of 35. Currently studying to work with the football management part.
Known as “capetinha”, for making his opponents hell, Edílson was also a reserve in 2002. After the end of his career, he became a sports commentator. At the age of 50, he works at Jovem Pan. He retired in 2010 with the Bahia shirt.
Like Ronaldinho Gaúcho, the former player was also arrested. In his case, it was due to the delay in the payment of pensions – he has also been released.
A reserve striker in 2002 was instrumental in his debut, digging in a penalty that gave Brazil the victory. At 46 years old, Luizão is the poster child for some brands. He has not acted professionally since 2009. The athlete also works as a commentator, having been part of the Espn team since 2016.
Shirt 10 of that selection, Rivaldo was president of Mogi Mirim in the last decade, the club for which he played at the beginning of his career, after being revealed by Santa Cruz. Now 50 years old, the former best in the world is a partner in a sports supplement company. He retired in 2015 after fulfilling his dream of playing with his son at Mogi.
Top scorer of the World Cup, Ronaldo became a businessman after ending his career in 2011 with the Corinthians shirt. Currently, at 45 years old, the Phenomenon owns Cruzeiro and Real Valladolid, from Spain.
Luiz Felipe Scolari
Coach in that achievement, Felipão has been Athletico coach since May 2022 and has solid work with good results so far. At 73 years old, he has in his curriculum the disputes of the 2006 and 2014 World Cups, under the command of Portugal and Brazil, respectively – in the last one he was marked by the 7-1 defeat suffered by Germany.