Indeed, no-one will ever convince Xavier that the six-month international suspension he received after the tournament was justified.
Xavier picked up the ban after his extravagant protests when he conceded a penalty for handball in the decisive moment of the semi-final against France.
And the memory drives him on.
A member of the Luis Figo, Rui Costa, Joao Pinto golden generation that lifted the Under-20 World Championship in Lisbon in 1991, Xavier believes the World Cup is a chance to avenge Euro 2000 - maybe the last chance.
"Portugal are privileged to have the team they have - and there are plenty of experienced teams who win titles," he said.
"We have been working superbly since Euro 2000. We have quality international experience with Portugal as well as our clubs and can achieve a historical result."
Good reason, then, to want to be in pristine condition.
"For some of us, the World Cup is the last carriage on the train of our careers, a perfect opportunity to write our names in the history of Portuguese football."
If only Gazza had espoused the same attitude.