30th June 2002 will be a very special day for all the Brazil fans throughout the world. On this day, 18 years ago, Brazil won the 2002 world cup, which was their 5th world cup, beating Germany 2-0, at International Stadium Yokohama. This was the first time the world cup was played in the Asian soil. Brazil made history not only by winning the all-time high fifth world cup but also became the first team to win the FIFA World Cup on the Asian soil.
Expectations before the tournament
Brazil came into the tournament as one of the favourites. Under coach Luiz Felipe Scolari the team boasted of superstars like Ronaldo Nazario, Ronaldinho Gaucho, Cafu, Roberto Carlos, Rivaldo and many more talented players who were plying their trades for big clubs in the European circuit. Brazil were drawn with surprise package Turkey, Costa Rica and the People’s Republic of China. Brazil were expected to move on to the next round without many hassles. It was the first time the world cup was taking place in Asia, there was huge anticipation among the local Korean and Japanese people. Each and every football fan always expects a very good performance from Brazil, irrespective of the condition. And in 2002, the shape of the team was really awesome, which has increased the expectation of all the spectators further.
Group Stages: The Begining of a History
Brazil started their journey by facing Turkey in the opening match of the group.
Turkey against the run of the play took the lead in the closing stages of the first half. Brazil played some excellent football in the second half and came from behind in the second half to win the game 2-1 courtesy of an exceptional goal of Ronaldo and cool finish from the penalty spot by Rivaldo.
The next game Brazil was up against China who were playing their first World Cup. The match was one-sided as Brazil won it 4-0 with goals from Roberto Carlos, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo. The final match of the group was against Costa Rica.
It turned out to be a high scoring affair. Brazil won the match 5-2, Ronaldo scored a brace. It was turning out to be a great group campaign for the Selecao.
Round of 16: The Real Test Begins
Brazil were qualified to the round of 16 without much of a problem. After reaching the knockout stage, they face a proper challenge in the form of Belgium side comprising of players like Wilmots, Van Buytens. Brazil was not able to break the deadlock in the first half. Belgium were defending with resilience and also tried to counter-attack in breaks. The Brazil side showed their experience by scoring the goal in the 67th minute by Rivaldo’s cool and calm finishing. After that Brazil controlled the tempo of the game. Ronaldo’s goal was the icing on the cake just before the ending of the regulation time. Brazil won the match 2-0 and entered the Quarter Finals of the World Cup.
Quarter Final: The Match to Watch out for
The Quarter-Final fixture was one of the biggest matches of the tournament. Two favourites Brazil and England were coming face to face in the Ecopa Stadium. The stakes were high, the England team had the likes of Beckham, Terry, Owen and Heskey in their ranks. It was not going to be easy. England opened the scoring with Owen’s goal. The Three Lions were expecting to qualify for the Semi-Finals. But Rivaldo came in their way with the equalizer on the injury time of the first half. The second half started on a tense note. Then Brazil got a Free Kick at quite a long distance and Seaman moved forward to intercept the expected cross. But Ronaldo took a shot and scored which was one of the memorable moments of the tournament. The Samba boys were in the Semi-Finals after beating one of the favourites England 2-1. This proved to be a very important step in the process of gaining confidence. When we say Brazil won their 5th World Cup this match should come into the mind of all Selecao fans.
Semi-Final: Tricky Turkey on the way.
World Cup Semi-Finals are always proved to be tough, but it was tricky this time for Brazil as they were facing the surprise package Turkey again in the Semis. Turkey was looking to cause a huge upset and play in the World Cup Final. The match proved to be a cagy affair from the word go, Ronaldo’s goal in the 49th minute became the only goal that differentiated the two teams on that day. Ronaldo was having the tournament of his life scoring for fun. The Turkey side is still remembered as one of the greatest surprise package in the World Cup history. Brazil had qualified into the biggest stage of Football: The World Cup Final, where finally Brazil won the 2002 world cup.
The Final: Brazil won the 2002 World Cup
It can’t get any bigger than this it was the Final of the World Cup. Brazil were up against Germany for the ultimate prize in world football. Oliver Kahn led Germany were hungry for glory. Hamann, Klose and other players playing for the top clubs were there in the team. The Final took place in the International Stadium, Yokohama. The whole world was looking up to it. The match beginning with Brazil taking control of the game. Waves of attacks were launched but all failed in front of the wall named Kahn. The German goalkeeper led from the front. It turned out to be Brazil vs Kahn. There was no goal in the first half and the pressure was starting to mount on the Selecao. The second half started with the same narrative but it all changed with Ronaldo’s goal in the 67th minute followed by another strike by him in the 79th minute. The Brazilian side was ready to lift another World Cup. The final whistle sealed it, Brazil won the 2002 World Cup, becoming the only country to achieve the feat of 5 World Cups. Celebrations started to take place in Brazil as well as in the homes of all the Brazil fans throughout the world. Brazil became the first team in the world to win the world cup in the Asian soil.
After Brazil won the 2002 world cup, Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima became the Hero of the nation with his stellar performance in the World Cup. He bagged 8 goals in the tournament. This day will always be special for all the Selecao fans throughout the world.
Brazil won the 2002 World Cup because of not only individual efforts but also team chemistry and their belief that they can conquer the world. It was, is and will be a proud moment for all Brazil to win 5 world cups: the most important trophy for any national football team. In future, many countries will reach this benchmark hopefully, but the name of Brazil will always glitter in the history of Joga Bonito.
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