Ronaldo promised to break Brazil’s curse when the football heroes of the legendary World Cup meeting in 1998 again stand face to face on Saturday.
Friday, the day before what was baptised, “Omkampen”, Ronaldo met the press together with teammates Cesar Sampaio and Emerson. By their side, th Brazilian trio had three Norwegian heroes from the World Cup match in Marseille: Tore André Flo, Egil “Drillo” Olsen, and Frode Grodås.
The laughter was huge, with Ronaldo as the natural centrepiece, answering questions about the revival match at Ullevaal stadium.
“I wonder why you have made the match for a Saturday when we had the chance to experience a summery Friday night in Oslo? One might wonder if you had a motive,’’flirted Ronaldo.
The 41 year old, who has scored more World Cup goals than any other player, also leads a team that includes Rivaldo and Junior Baiano on Saturday, who run out on Ullevaal’s pitch.
Baiano was the defender who was tricked when Tore André Flo made it 1-1 in Marseille in 1998, and then Flo caused the penalty shootout to determine the match in Norway’s favour.
‘’Junior Baiano is here and looks forward to the return of Tore André Flo. He brings his best shoes with the longest knots,’’ said Ronaldo.
Break the curse?
He used the word “historical” about the pending revival match, but wiped away the question of why Brazil has never managed to beat Norway. Twice the former goalkeeper was challenged on the subject, and both times he became silent.
“We will try to beat Norway this time and we have managed to gather together many big players, not least by the number of kilos they weigh’’, the 41-year-old smiled happily.
Team mate Emerson was a substitute in Marseille in 1998.
“This is an important match for Norway, but also for Brazil. We must try to break this curse.Excellent that we managed to get this,’’ he said.
Defender Cesar Sampaio was quick to announce Tore André Flo as Norway’s top threat on Saturday.
“I do not know what form Flo is in now, but he’s probably the most dangerous of them all,” he smiled.
Long and tall balls
Flo himself, who has been through a double hip surgery since the match in Marseille, looks forward to battle.
“I have to talk to Drillo, because I would like to have the ball as much as possible, not long balls,” he said.
It is not certain that he will get his wish. When challenged by the Norwegian tactics, a typically brave Drillo responded:
“We will use the same tools as in Marseille. We are going to knock the ball so far and loudly,and then we will run after it.’’
Drillo also announced that he has ambitions to start the match with the same 11 players as 20 years ago.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today