Official: Goal that kicked England out of the World Cup was a fluke

The goal made a fool of David Seaman at last year's World Cup, reducing the veteran England goalkeeper to tears in front of a global television audience of millions.

It eliminated England from the tournament, cast doubt over Seaman's future, sent Brazil into the semi-finals and provoked a national debate on whether it was intentional.

And to make matters worse, Ronaldinho, the forward who scored from that 42-yard free-kick, has in public maintained that he meant it and knew Seaman was susceptible to being lobbed from long range. But today The Independent can reveal that Ronaldinho confessed after the match that the goal was a fluke.

"He said he tried to put the ball in the opposite angle to where it went, the other corner," Ronaldinho's international teammate Juninho said in an exclusive interview. "He mishit it. In the end it was lucky. In football you have to be lucky sometimes." Or, as Seaman found, unlucky.