SAO PAULO – Brazil left-back Filipe Luis, who has joined up with the national squad in Russia for the upcoming World Cup, has said he remembers praying with his entire family during the dramatic penalty shootout which Brazil won against Italy to decide the 1994 World Cup final.
In an interview with the Brazilian Football Association (CFB) published on Monday, the left-back spoke of his childhood memories, when playing on the World Cup stage was still a distant dream.
“From ‘94, I mostly remember the penalties; during the shootout, my whole family were together at my grandmother’s house, holding hands as we prayed for the win,” 32-year-old Luis told CFB, who was nine years old when Brazil won the 1994 World Cup, which was held in the United States.
All he remembers from Italia ‘90, when he was five, was crying after Brazil was knocked out by bitter rivals Argentina in the round of 16.
He said his clearest, and happiest, World Cup memories came in 2002, when a star-studded Brazil, led by the forward line of Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, won the nation’s fifth title in South Korea and Japan.
“They played an excellent campaign. Everyone remembers Ronaldo in the final, who gave us the trophy and scored two goals in the final after going through so much” at the previous tournament in France.
Filipe Luis, who goes to Russia as the back up to Marcelo at left-back, is making his first ever appearance at the World Cup, after he missed out on a spot in 2014, when Brazil hosted the tournament.
Brazil, one of the pre-tournament favorites, is in Group E alongside Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.
Its opening game is on Sunday against Switzerland.