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Friday, 2 August, 2002, 10:15 GMT 11:15 UK
Jairzinho and Banks reunited
Jairzinho and the rest of the 1970 side
Brazil's 1970 side are considered by many as the best ever

Last time they came face-to-face it was in front of over 66,000 fans in Guadalajara and the World Cup was at stake.

Thirty two years later and the scene was a university pitch in Leeds and only a handful of people were looking on.

But for those lucky few observers it made little difference what the setting was.

I feel honoured to have played in the 1970 team and am also extremely delighted that Brazil won in 2002

Out in the middle were two legends of the game, Jairzinho and Gordon Banks, meeting for the first time since that amazing day in 1970.

"It was fantastic," Jairzinho told BBC Sport Online after meeting up with Banks.

"I have been living for the past 32 years with Banks in my memories, because since 1970 when I played against him in Mexico I had not seen him.

"So it was a pleasure to see him again and it was nice to be on the pitch and recreate a few plays from the 1970 World Cup.

"It was really an honour for me to come to England and meet Banks because he is a legend in world football and probably the best goalkeeper ever."

Jairzinho was in England helping to promote futebol de salao, a version of football played by kids in Brazil, which is now catching on in this country.

Back in 1970 Jairzinho scored the only goal against England in the game often judged the best ever, and most Brazilians refer to as the real World Cup final. Fast forward to 2002 and Brazil beat England on their way to World Cup glory.

But few people would argue that the 2002 side can lay claim to being in the same league as the team many believe to be the greatest ever.

"It's very difficult to make comparisons as it two very different eras," the man, who was born Jair Ventura Filho, said modestly.

Jairzinho combined great skills with power and pace

"Today football is media and marketing, in those days there was no logo on the shirt, the team of 1970 played for their emotions and their love for the country.

"Although everybody says the 1970 Brazil team was the best, I don't like to make comparisons.

"I feel honoured to have played in that team and am also extremely delighted and happy that Brazil won the 2002 World Cup."

After seeing off England, Jairzinho went on to create history by becoming the first man to score in every round of the finals.

It is a record that still stands, although Ronaldo and Rivaldo both threatened to match it as Brazil were crowned 2002 champions.

Ronaldo scored in all but one game - ironically it was against England that his hopes of matching Jairzinho's record ended.

But rather than feeling threatened by the possibility of seeing his place in history diluted, Jairzinho was excited by the chances of someone so close to him repeating his feat.

Brazil striker Ronaldo
Jairzinho unearthed Ronaldo 12 years ago

"I would have been extremely happy for him," Jairzinho added.

"I would have been very proud if Ronaldo had matched or even surpassed my record because I spotted him when he was playing futebol de salao."

Jairzinho played a major part in Ronaldo's development into the best player in the world after discovering him some 12 years ago.

"Ronaldo is 'The Phenomenon', he's a player that has a lot of the skills that I used to have because he has this ability of running very fast in the direction of the goal and dribbling at his opponents.

"He's a player that has a lot of strength and he's very fast."

See also:

29 Jul 02 | World Football
30 Jun 02 | Germany v Brazil
01 Jul 02 | Brazil
30 Jun 02 | Germany v Brazil
23 Jul 02 | Scotland
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