Ronaldo double downs Germany, wins Brazil's fifth CupPosted: Sunday June 30, 2002 6:12 AM
Updated: Sunday June 30, 2002 5:02 PM
YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) -- Brazil claimed a record fifth World Cup triumph on Sunday when revitalized striker Ronaldo erased the memory of his 1998 final nightmare by grabbing both goals in a deserved 2-0 victory over Germany. (91st Minute.)
The striker, who was a shadow of his normal self four years ago after suffering a fit before Brazil's 3-0 defeat by France, took his tournament tally to eight with two clinical second-half finishes at a damp International Stadium. (Analysis.)
Ronaldo buried a rebound in the 67th minute after Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn had uncharacteristically spilled a drive by Rivaldo.
The 25-year-old snatched his second with a smart right-foot shot 12 minutes later after seizing on an inviting Kleberson cross after a dummy by Rivaldo.
"The goals crowned my work and the work of the whole team. I worked for two years trying to recover from that injury and today God reserved this for me and the Brazilian team. I am very happy," an emotional Ronaldo said. (Ronaldo finally fulfills World Cup destiny)
The striker, who has battled a series of injuries and had two operations since 1998, dedicated his goals to "my family in the first place and my physiotherapist [Nilton Petrone] who fought with me without knowing that we would be here two years later." (For Ronaldo, Cup better than sex.)
Brazil's coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said: "I feel pleasure, a joy that the people of Brazil are feeling now. Brazil back as world champions -- that is not something we can forget.
"The secret was the unity of the boys, they all concentrated on one main objective. We were feeling the positive energy of the support of the Brazilian people."
Cafu's third final
Ronaldo finished the tournament with eight goals -- the most at a finals since 1970 when West Germany's Gerd Mueller got 10. He also equaled Pele's Brazilian record of 12 at World Cup finals.
Brazil's captain Cafu, who became the first player to appear in three World Cup finals, stepped up to receive the trophy from Pele and FIFA president Sepp Blatter against a backdrop of exploding fireworks to the delight of the Brazilian fans.
Scolari joined his squad on a lap of honor and punched the air in delight with his players as they carried a huge Brazilian flag around the pitch towards their adoring supporters. (Rio celebrates triumph.)
As the winners celebrated at the final whistle, disappointed Germany captain Kahn sat slumped against his post as the rest of his dejected side reflected on their defeat. They badly missed suspended playmaker Michael Ballack who watched from the bench. (Moans go up across Germany)
Before Ronaldo wrapped up the match with his double strike both teams hit the woodwork in a tense encounter. The game was the first World Cup match between the two most successful teams in the tournament's history, both playing in their seventh final.
The impressive Kleberson curled a 20-meter effort against the bar after 45 minutes, while Brazil goalkeeper Marcos pushed a swerving Oliver Neuville free kick on to his post four minutes into the second half.
Germany coach Rudi Voeller said: "We have got to be happy with what we have achieved in this World Cup. We did very well, particularly in the first half-hour, but as the game went on we saw Brazil showing their individual class.
"It's nothing to be ashamed of to lose to Brazil, but I'm still disappointed. They deserve to be world champions. They have shown it not just today but in other games as well."
Three-times former winners Germany frustrated Brazil during a tight opening period but the South Americans still created several excellent chances, the best of which came right at the end of the half.
In stoppage time Ronaldo spun and struck a low shot from 10 meters that Kahn kept out with his legs.
Ronaldo should have scored after 19 minutes when Ronaldinho, back from the suspension that kept him out of the semifinal against Turkey, played him through, but the twice former World Footballer of the Year stabbed the ball wide of Kahn's post.
Midfielder Bernd Schneider swung in some dangerous crosses for the Germans, although a wayward drive by Jens Jeremies, in for the banned Ballack, was all Voeller's side could muster.
But the Germans started the second half with real intent.
They almost took the lead within two minutes when forward Oliver Neuville curled in a corner and Brazil defender Edmilson blocked Jeremies diving header as it flew towards the net.
Soon after, Germany struck the woodwork when Neuville swerved a vicious free kick from 35 meters that Marcos, at full stretch, tipped on to his post.
Kahn denied Gilberto Silva at the other end but minutes later Ronaldo pounced after Kahn could only spill a drive by the previously anonymous Rivaldo to the marksman's deadly feet. (Kahn pays for only error)
"There is no consolation for this. I made my only mistake out of seven games and it was brutally punished," said Kahn.
Ronaldo placed his second expertly inside the German keeper's left post after 79 minutes when Kleberson surged down the right flank and played the ball temptingly in the striker's path on the edge of the penalty area after Rivaldo dummied.
In the 83rd minute substitute Oliver Bierhoff nearly pulled one back for Germany with a snapshot that Marcos did well to push wide and fellow substitute Christian Ziege also went close in the dying seconds.
Voeller defended Kahn, who was at fault for the first goal but was named goalkeeper of the tournament by world soccer's governing body FIFA after conceding only one goal in Germany's six games up to the final.
"There's no blaming Olly. He's had a fantastic World Cup... He was sensational," Voeller said.
Brazil's triumph made them the first team since their 1970 side to win all their matches in a World Cup finals. Uruguay in 1930, and Italy, in 1938, are the only others to have accomplished the feat.
They are also the only country to win the World Cup outside their own continent after Sunday's victory in South Korea and Japan and their earlier triumph in Sweden in 1958. (Previous Brazil titles: 1958 | 1962 | 1970 | 1994.)
The South Americans also won the World Cup in 1962 in Chile and in the United States in 1994. Their tally of five triumphs puts them two clear of their nearest challengers, Italy and the Germans, who have three World Cup wins each.
Ronaldinho returns, Jeremies starts
Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari recalled Ronaldinho to the Brazil lineup for Sunday's final after the midfielder missed the semifinal through suspension.
Edilson dropped down to the bench as the four-time champion kicked off with the same starting 11 that beat England 2-1 in the quarterfinals.
Brazilian defender Cafu started at right back to become the first man to play in three World Cup finals having taken part in 1994 and 1998.
Dietmar Hamann took over the playmaker duties for Germany, replacing the suspended Michael Ballack, with Jens Jeremies taking on Hamann's usual role as the defensive midfielder for the three-time champion.
Germany is otherwise unchanged from the team that beat South Korea in the semifinal as the impressive Carsten Ramelow keeps his place in the center of defense.
Germany 0 Brazil 2 - result
World Cup final
Scorer: Ronaldo 67, 79
Germany - Miroslav Klose 9
Brazil - Roque Junior 5
Halftime: 0-0; Attendance: 69,029
Germany (4-4-2): 1-Oliver Kahn; 22-Torsten Frings, 2-Thomas Linke, 5-Carsten Ramelow, 21- Christoph Metzelder; 19-Bernd Schneider, 16-Jens Jeremies (14-Gerald Asamoah 77), 8-Dietmar Hamann, 17-Marco Bode (6-Christian Ziege 84); 7-Oliver Neuville, 11-Miroslav Klose (20-Oliver Bierhoff 74)
Brazil: (3-5-2): 1-Marcos; 3-Lucio, 5-Edmilson, 4-Roque Junior; 2-Cafu, 8-Gilberto Silva, 15-Kleberson, 11-Ronaldinho (19-Juninho 85), 6-Roberto Carlos; 9-Ronaldo (17-Denilson 90), 10-Rivaldo
Referee: Pierluigi Collina (Italy)
Linesmen: Leif Lindberg (Sweden), Philip Sharp (England)
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