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   03 June, 2002 | 1215 IST



France get the blues

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Emerson 'hurting inside' after injury

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Brian Homewood

Captain Emerson, considered the hard man of the Brazil team, was close to tears on Monday and said he was "hurting inside" after being forced out of the World Cup through a bizarre injury.

"This is really very difficult, this hurts, it hurts inside," said the midfielder, speaking less than 24 hours after dislocating his shoulder when playing as goalkeeper in a light-hearted training game.

"I'm sad. It's a very difficult situation. You only know how much it hurts when it happens."

Brazil captain Emerson fights back tears during a press conference in Ulsan after being forced outEmerson, who has taken over the captaincy under coach Luiz Felipe Scolari in the last year, was told in the dressing room by team doctor Jose Luis Runco that he would need a month to recover and was therefore out of the tournament.

"When something has to happen, it can fall down the stairs and get hurt. It could have happened to any player but it happened to me.

"I'll just have to lift my head up and think of the future.

"When it happened I never thought I would have to leave the Brazil team, you never think the worst. I just thought about whether I would be able to play today (Monday).

"Afterwards in the dressing room, the doctor was very sincere, in fact he was a bit tough, but he gave it to me straight. Afterwards, I spoke to my team-mates, the only thing I said was that if I can't play, I will stay with them.

"Now, I have to find the strength, I don't know from where, to help my team mates."

He will be replaced by Corinthians midfielder Ricardinho.

Brazil's general manager Americo Faria said: "Emerson's presence is tremendously important, he exercises significant leadership and we know we will miss him a lot.

"He is very sad but I'm sure the success of the Brazil team will reduce Emerson's suffering."

The incident happened exactly four years after Emerson himself was called in as a last-minute replacement when striker Romario was left out because of a nagging injury.

"Football players are always exposed to these things, we know it can happen at any moment," Emerson told reporters at the Brazil team hotel.

"In 1998, I came into the team in a similar situation, today I'm leaving and giving way to another companion."


"I want to give my support to Ricardinho because the situation for me in 1998 was very difficult, a lot of people were doubting me, so I want to wish him all the luck in the world."

"I have worked hard until today and I will continue working hard.

Emerson spoke confidently at the start but became increasingly emotional, eventually prompting media officer Rodrigo Paiva to end the conference.

"It's not easy to get into the Brazil team, there are many other players of quality and I worked hard to be here, not only that but I am captain of the team and I am in a privileged situation," Emerson said.

"Now, this has happened."

Emerson, criticised by some commentators for committing too many fouls and lacking technique, said he would remain with the team for at least their first three games to lend moral support.

"I will stay here with my companions because I think it's right, because they gave me a lot of support, I won the leadership with their backing and I think they will need me here."

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