Rivaldo told Heskey he was only England star who could have played for Brazil

Rivaldo once told Emile Heskey that he was the only England star who could have played for Brazil, according to the ex-Liverpool man.

The duo faced off in the last eight of the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, with Brazil coming from behind to beat the Three Lions on route to winning their fifth title. Prior to the match, Rivaldo chose which member of the England squad he thought would be able to cope with playing for Brazil.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Heskey explained: "We played against Brazil in the 2002 World Cup and Rivaldo did a piece, who out of the England team would get in the Brazil side?

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"He picked me… I was fine with that! I knew I could [fit into that Brazil team well], but I was ridiculed for it."

Asked why Rivaldo chose him over some of the other stars of Sven-Goran Eriksson's side, he added: "Because he played against me. I think it was all-round play I bring to a team, and he'd seen that.

"I played against him for Liverpool against Barcelona. We drew away and beat them at home, so he has seen everything I brought to a team."

Would Emile Heskey have made it into Brazil's team? Let us know in the comments section below.

Ahead of the quarter-final meeting in Shizuoka, Rivaldo told Liverpool's website, via SportBible: "Heskey may be heavily criticised by some English fans but I don't see it like that.

“I played against him a couple of times for Barcelona against Liverpool in the Champions League and realised what a quality player he is. It wasn't long before I began thinking what weight of character and strength Heskey possessed.

"I told the other players [in Brazil] how dangerous he was. I admire the way he attacks the Premiership. So when you ask me which Englishman I think would be able to cope with playing in my team, Brazil, I say Heskey."

Heskey made a total of 62 appearances for England during his career, playing at two World Cups and scoring seven goals for his country.


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