World Cup 2002
Host(s): South Korea & Japan
Third Place: Turkey
Fourth Place: South Korea
Top Goalscorer: Ronaldo (Brazil) – 8 Goals
Participants: 32 (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, United States, Uruguay)
The World Cup saw a first as two nations combined their resources to hold a two-nation World Cup with the 2002 World Cup held in South Korea & Japan. It was also the first World Cup to be held on the Asian continent.
The final saw two familiar foes although it was the first time West Germany and Brazil had battled it out in a final of a World Cup. However, it was the Brazilians who came out victorious winning 2-0 in Yokohama.
South Korea & Japan automatically qualified by virtue of being hosts but France were also granted a berth into the finals as defending champions but that rule was soon scraped after the finals.
A unique factor about these finals was that all previous seven winners of the World Cup all qualified for South Korea & Japan 2002. The first time that so many champions had appeared in a major competition with Argentina, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Italy and Uruguay all competing for the World Cup crown.
Four new nations qualified for the Asian World Cup with Chile & Ecuador qualifying from South America while Senegal qualified as an African contingent and Slovenia from Europe.
The defending champions didn’t get off to the best of starts as they lost their opening match against Senegal. This was arguably the shock of the tournament and set the way for what would be a surprising tournament filled with overachieving nations. Brazil and Germany may have competed for the World Cup title itself in the final but Turkey and South Korea were vying for a third-place finish with very few predicting that.
Brazilian sensation Ronaldo set the tournament a lite with his eight goals and help guide Brazil to their fifth World Cup title. Ronaldo’s two goals in the final was evidence of this.
Brazil 2 – 0 Germany – Yokohama International Stadium ~ 69,029 Attendance
Brazil – Ronaldo x2
Third Place Play-Off:
South Korea 2 – 3 Turkey
South Korea – Lee Eul-Yong, Song Chong-Gug
Turkey – Hakan, Ilhan x2