The last time Juliano Belletti went to The O2 in London, he was taking his kids to a dinosaur show.
But he knows the players that will be proudly pulling on their national team jerseys again at Star Sixes in July will be far from prehistoric!
Belletti, the former Barcelona and Chelsea defender, is the latest recruit for the eagerly-awaited world six-a-side tournament for former internationals where his Brazil side – featuring superstars such as Roberto Carlos – will be up against some of the best players from recent years.
England will be captained by Steven Gerrard, who only left LA Galaxy late last year, while the other superstars on show will be determined to prove they still have what it takes in a truly competitive tournament.
Belletti knows only too well the strengths of Germany captain Michael Ballack, Spain’s Carles Puyol and Deco of Portugal, as they were all team-mates of his.
So he knows how tough it will be for Brazil to lift the inaugural Star Sixes trophy in the 12-nation tournament this summer.
But having won the World Cup in 2002, he is up for the challenge.
“Winning the World Cup is the best thing for any professional footballer, so it will be great to be back with my teammates from that Brazil side,” he said.
“But we will be up against some really world-class players so it won’t be easy.”
He is looking forward to playing at The O2, having seen Kanye West perform there, as well as the aforementioned Dinosaur exhibition.
“It is a fantastic venue, and will be the perfect place to play Star Sixes, especially when you have some of the best players in the world taking part,” he added.
“I loved my three years in London with Chelsea, playing with some of the best players in the world. London is a great city, with great people who love football. And I know there are plenty of Brazilians living there who always turn out to support Brazil.”
Before Chelsea, of course, he was famous as the man who shot down Arsenal with the winning goal in the 2006 Champions League final for Barcelona.
Jens Lehmann, Robert Pirès and fellow countryman Gilberto Silva were all in the Gunners side that night, and Belletti added: “I have spoken to Gilberto about it many times. That was another special moment for me. To score the winning goal in a Champions League final is special, but nobody expects a defender to do it!”
Before Star Sixes, Belletti believes his old side Barcelona can win the Champions League again, after their thrilling comeback against Paris St Germain in the last 16.
“I was in the stadium that night, and I’ve never known anything like that atmosphere,” he added.
“I think it was the greatest comeback of all time. Remember PSG have some fantastic players.
“But when you have Messi, Neymar and Suarez in your side anything is possible. And now they have the confidence from that result to go on and win the trophy again.”
Juliano Belletti is the latest signing for Star Sixes, a new world six-a-side tournament for former internationals at The O2, London, July 13-16. Tickets, starting at just £30 adults and £10 children, are on sale at Ticketmaster or AXS. Follow @StarSixes on Twitter and Instagram and like on Facebook.