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Brazil not talking about 1998 final defeat

Written by: Staff

BERGISCH GLADBACH, Germany, June 29 (Reuters) Brazil captain Cafu said the world champions have banished all thoughts of their 1998 World Cup final defeat to France, whom they face in Saturday's quarter-final.

France, who were both hosts and underdogs eight years ago, thumped Brazil 3-0 in the final at the Stade de France, helped by two goals from Zinedine Zidane and a dazed performance from Brazil striker Ronaldo.

Ronaldo was in hospital hours before kick off after suffering what many reports said was a convulsive fit in the team hotel. Many feel the episode has never been fully explained.

''A lot of rumours and stories have been created about that day but, in the end, all that happened was that France beat Brazil because they were the better team,'' said Cafu, who played in the match.

''Talk about revenge is something that's happening outside the team,'' added the 36-year-old.

''I'm absolutely certain that you haven't heard any of the Brazil players talking about revenge. As far as we're concered, Brazil are playing France and it's going to be a great match.'' Cafu also played down suggestions that the game will be the last for Zidane, who will retire after the World Cup.

''Anything can happen,'' he said. ''Maybe Zidane will change his mind tomorrow and decide to keep playing football after all.

''It will be a shame if he ends his career now. He's a player who is admired by everyone. He could change his mind, regardless of what happens at the World Cup.'' Reuters DH VV2128

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