2002 FIFA World Cup Final

The 2002 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match that took place on 30 June 2002 at the International Stadium in Yokohama to determine the winner of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. The final was contested by Germany and Brazil. It was the first World Cup meeting between the two sides. Brazil won the match 2–0, winning a record fifth title. Ronaldo, who became the record World Cup goalscorer at the 2006 tournament, scored two of his fifteen World Cup goals in the second half of the match, leading Brazil to the title and winning the Golden Boot award. It also marked Brazilian captain Cafu's third consecutive appearance in a World Cup Final, a feat that has yet to be accomplished by any other player in the history of the tournament. Both teams had won their respective groups before advancing to the knockout stage, where Germany shut out all of their opponents to reach the final, while Brazil only allowed a single goal from England. Germany overcame United States and co-host South Korea, while Brazil knocked out England and Turkey.

2002 FIFA World Cup Final
The final was played at International Stadium Yokohama.
Event2002 FIFA World Cup
Date30 June 2002
VenueInternational Stadium, Yokohama
Man of the MatchRonaldo (Brazil)
RefereePierluigi Collina (Italy)

The title marked Brazil's fifth World Cup championship, which is more than any other team has achieved. They also became the first team to win all seven matches in the current 32-team format (Brazil had previously achieved a similar feat in the 16-team 1970 tournament with six wins), and the first to win all their knockout matches without any extra time or penalty shoot-out (later equaled by France in 2018). Brazil also became the first team to win the World Cup outside Europe and the Americas. Germany lost the World Cup Final for its fourth time, another tournament record. They were attempting to equal Brazil for most World Cup wins, as they already had three. To date, it is the latest World Cup won by a South American team.

Road to the final

Germany Round Brazil
Opponents Results Group stage Opponents Results
 Saudi Arabia 8–0 Match 1  Turkey 2–1
 Republic of Ireland 1–1 Match 2  China PR 4–0
 Cameroon 2–0 Match 3  Costa Rica 5–2
Group E winners
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Germany 3210111+107
 Republic of Ireland 312052+35
 Cameroon 311123−14
 Saudi Arabia 3003012−120
Final standings Group C winners
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Brazil 3300113+89
 Turkey 311153+24
 Costa Rica 311156−14
 China PR 300309−90
Opponents Results Knockout stage Opponents Results
 Paraguay 1–0 Round of 16  Belgium 2–0
 United States 1–0 Quarter-finals  England 2–1
 South Korea 1–0 Semi-finals  Turkey 1–0


Prior to the tournament, Germany were plagued by a series of injuries to key players. Sebastian Deisler, a star player, would not be able to play in the tournament due to a knee injury suffered in a friendly match against Austria, only two days before the team left for Japan. The team's medical staff was at first confident that Deisler would be able to play, but later pulled him out due to fears of his safety.[1] "At first we had a glimmer of hope, but now the most important thing to think about is the health of Sebastian rather than the World Cup," said team manager Rudi Völler.[1] In addition, midfielder Mehmet Scholl and defenders Christian Wörns and Jens Nowotny all missed the tournament due to injury.[1]

Germany was drawn into Group E, along with Republic of Ireland and the low-ranking Saudi Arabia and Cameroon.[2] In their opening match at the Sapporo Dome against Saudi Arabia they showed dominance, defeating them 8–0. Miroslav Klose scored a hat-trick, one of six players on the German team to score a goal.[3] In their next game against Ireland, Germany held a 1–0 lead throughout much of the game. However, with only a few seconds left in stoppage time, Irish player Robbie Keane, scored the equalising goal against German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.[4] The goal held and the match ended in a 1–1 draw, awarding Germany only one point in the standings.[4] Needing a win to finish first in their group, Germany entered their final match against Cameroon one point ahead of the Irish in the group. However, Germany easily beat Cameroon in a 2–0 game at Shizuoka Stadium, with Klose scoring his fifth goal of the tournament.[5] Germany finished first place in Group E with seven points (two wins and a draw), and advanced into the first stage of the knockout round.[2]

In the first stage of the knockout round, Germany faced Paraguay, the runner-up in Group B, at Jeju World Cup Stadium.[6] The game remained a very defensive one, as there were no goals scored in the first half and well into the second half. In the 88th minute, first-time, Oliver Neuville scored, winning the game for Germany.[7] In the quarter-finals, Germany faced United States, who had surprisingly made it far into the tournament. Although they were significantly outshot 11 to 6, the Germans were still able to pull away with a 1–0 win. The single goal scored in the match came from Michael Ballack in the 38th minute.[8]

In the semi-final, Germany faced the co-host nation South Korea at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.[9] Like the game against Paraguay, it was a defensive struggle throughout the first half and into the second half. However, before any goals were scored, a key moment in the tournament occurred. In the 71st minute, Ballack picked up his second yellow card of the knockout round, therefore disqualifying him from the next game.[10] However, just four minutes later into the game, Ballack came through for Germany and scored, which turned out to be the only goal of the game. With the 1–0 win, the Germans moved into the final to face Brazil, the first World Cup meeting between the two.[10]


Brazil was drawn into Group C, along with China PR, Costa Rica, and Turkey.[2] In the previous World Cup in 1998, Brazil had made it to the finals but then lost 3–0 to the host nation France.[11] In an interview, Brazilian midfielder Juninho Paulista stated that both the team and the people in Brazil were both somewhat pessimistic about the upcoming World Cup squad due to the loss to France.[11] Following the 1998 loss, the team hired a new head coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, following tenures by Vanderlei Luxemburgo (whose contract was terminated after elimination at the quarter finals of the football tournament at the 2000 Summer Olympics) and Emerson Leão (who experienced a short, disastrous stint, in which the underpowered Brazilian team risked not getting through the qualifiers).[12] Felipe preferred a more different style of football than previous coaches, which he called "bullyboy soccer". In this style of play emphasis is placed on aggressive play and hard tackling, which was in contrast to the more finesse play of previous Brazilian teams.[12]

On 3 June, Brazil played its first match of the group stage against eventual group runner-up Turkey. In stoppage time at the end of the first half, Turkey's Hasan Şaş scored, leaving Brazil down 1–0 at half time.[13] In the second half, Brazil's Ronaldo responded quickly by levelling the scores at 1–1 in the 50th minute. The score remained tied until well late into the game. In the 86th minute, Turkish defender Alpay Özalan brought down Brazilian striker Luizão in the penalty area, prompting a red card for Alpay and a penalty kick that Rivaldo converted.[13] The match score finished at 2–1, Brazil victorious.[13] The game was also notable for an incident, where Turkish defender Hakan Ünsal kicked a ball towards Rivaldo which struck his thigh, but Rivaldo fell to the ground clutching his face. The referee sent the Turkish player off with a second yellow card, while Rivaldo was fined 11,670 Swiss francs by FIFA following a video review.[14] In their second game against China at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium, the Brazilians fared much more easily. Roberto Carlos, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, and Ronaldo all scored for Brazil, the first three goals being in the first half.[15] With this win, Brazil also knocked the Chinese team out of the World Cup with their second loss.[15] In their final game against Costa Rica, Brazil was very strong offensively. In a 5–2 win, Ronaldo scored two goals, one of four Brazilian players to score in the match.[16] Brazil finished in first place in their group with nine points and scoring eleven goals, advancing to the round of 16 with ease.[2]

Entering the elimination round with a perfect record, Brazil faced Group H runner-up Belgium in the first stage.[2] The game remained scoreless at half time, as both teams had good goalkeeping. In the 67th minute, striker Rivaldo scored for Brazil. Ronaldo added on a second goal in the 87th minute, solidifying the win for Brazil at 2–0.[17] England faced Brazil in the quarterfinals, and got ahead early with a goal by forward Michael Owen in the 23rd minute.[18] The scores were levelled in the first half's stoppage time, when Rivaldo scored in his second straight match just before the half was called.[18] Following half time, forward Ronaldinho scored for Brazil, putting them in the lead. Only seven minutes later, Ronaldinho was red-carded by referee Felipe Ramos Rizo of Mexico and therefore suspended for the next match.[18] Although they played with only 10 men, the Brazilians were able to prevent a second goal from their English opponents and advanced into the semi-finals to face Turkey.[2]

In the semi-final, the sans-Ronaldinho Brazil faced Turkey for the second time, at Saitama Stadium. The game, unlike the first meeting between the teams, had a strong showing of defense by both sides.[19] The game was a scoreless tie at half-time, but this soon changed. Only four minutes after the half in the 49th minute, Ronaldo again came through for Brazil, scoring what ended up being the only goal of the match.[19] With this low-scoring victory, the Brazilians moved on to attempt to win a record fifth World Cup title, against the aforementioned German squad.[2]


Broadcasting and venue

Over 200 nations and territories broadcast the final over radio and television.[20] In totality, 232 television channels broadcast the match, which was a new record for a World Cup Final (only later to be broken in 2006).[20] The final had the highest television audience of the entire tournament, attracting over 63 million viewers in Nielsen-measured countries.[21] The Germany-South Korea match was a close second, as much of the host nation viewed the game to support their team. It was the highest-viewed non-finals match in World Cup history.[21]

The game was played at International Stadium Yokohama, where three other matches in the World Cup were previously held.[22] The stadium was the largest in the tournament as well as the largest in the entire nation of Japan, seating over 70,000 spectators.[22] In all, about 260,000 people attended matches in this stadium throughout the World Cup, which, at the time, was a new record.[22]

Match ball

The match ball for this game was the Adidas Fevernova, a ball specifically made for the World Cup.[23] The ball's design was different from the normal "Tango" type of three-pointed shapes connecting each hexagon, instead introducing a different, triangle-like shape on four hexagons.[23] This look and color usage was entirely based on Asian culture. It also featured a refined syntactic foam layer, to give the ball superior performance characteristics, and a three-layer knitted chassis, allowing for a more precise and predictable flight path.[23] However, this ball was notoriously criticised for being too light, yet some spectacular goals were scored with it during the tournament. The ball was also blamed for a number of upsets that happened in the knockout stages.[23] Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon called the ball "a ridiculous kiddy's bouncing ball," while Brazil's Edilson criticised the ball as being "too big and too light".[23]



Coming into the match, Germany looked to have an uphill task to beat Brazil, as although they had scored fourteen goals by the time of the final, eight of those goals were scored against Saudi Arabia, and the Europeans were coming off back to back to back 1–0 wins. Adding to the German hardship, midfielder Michael Ballack who scored the winning goals in both the Quarterfinal against the United States and the Semi Final against South Korea, would miss the game due to a suspension. Still, the Germans could take solace in their shot stopper Oliver Kahn who was in the midst of what is considered one of the greatest individual World Cup performances of all time.[24] Kahn had only conceded one goal, to Robbie Keane of Ireland, up to this point in the tournament.

Brazil would claim their fifth, World Cup title; over the resilient German side. Ronaldo missed a chance in the 19th minute when he was put through on Oliver Kahn by Ronaldinho, putting his shot wide of the target. The next big chance of the game would fall to the legs of Ronaldo in the 30th minute, as he was once again put through by Ronaldinho, this time he was unable to put much power on the shot as he was put under pressure by Thomas Linke, and Kahn saved his effort. Kléberson would have the next chances of the match, putting the first wide in the 42nd minute, and hitting the bar from long range in the 45th minute. Ronaldo missed his third scoring chance in stoppage time, when a Roberto Carlos pass evaded all the German defenders, this time Ronaldo hit the shot well, but Kahn saved it with his outstretched foot. Germany had their first major chance of the evening a minute into the second half, when a corner found an unmarked Jens Jeremies, but his header was blocked by the foot of Edmílson. In the 50th minute, Germany almost scored when Oliver Neuville struck a free kick from long range, Marcos tipped the brilliant strike onto the post. For the majority of the match, Brazil's dominance in the middle of the pitch forced attacking midfielder Bernd Schneider to spend most of his time helping the German defense. This left Neuville and Miroslav Klose isolated against the three Brazilian central defenders Edmílson, Roque Júnior, and future Captain Lúcio. Save from his brilliant free kick, Neuville had little impact on the game, and Klose was unable to make any notable impact against the tight marking of the Brazilians.[25] Brazil would open the scoring in the 67th minute in a sequence that started with Ronaldo winning the ball from Dietmar Hamann in the German half of the pitch. Ronaldo passed to Rivaldo who struck a low shot towards goal. Kahn attempted to catch the shot, but he was unable to, and in doing so spilled a rebound. Ronaldo, who had followed Rivaldo's shot, and despite the rebound being relatively short, took advantage of Kahn being off balance, scoring the rebound into the bottom corner before Kahn could recover. The Brazilians scored their second goal twelve minutes later, after a mazy run from Kléberson from just beyond the halfway line caused confusion in the German defense, this run lead to Brazil having a four attackers against Germany's three defenders. Kléberson passed towards Rivaldo, who was in the center of the pitch and a yard outside the German penalty area, and Linke came from covering Ronaldo to pressure Rivaldo, but Rivaldo let the ball pass through his legs, and the pace on Kléberson's pass found Ronaldo, who now had a chance from the center edge of the German penalty area. German forward Gerald Asamoah tracked back well, and he was almost able to block the shot, but Ronaldo used his first touch to take the ball away from Asamoah, and passed the ball into the bottom corner of Kahn's net with his second. Germany had their best chance of the game in the 83rd minute when Oliver Bierhoff hit a first time shot towards goal from the penalty spot, but Marcos got down brilliantly to save the shot, and Germany were unable to threaten for the rest of the match.[26]


GK1Oliver Kahn (c)
CB2Thomas Linke
CB5Carsten Ramelow
CB21Christoph Metzelder
RM22Torsten Frings
CM8Dietmar Hamann
CM16Jens Jeremies 77'
LM17Marco Bode 84'
AM19Bernd Schneider
CF11Miroslav Klose 9' 74'
CF7Oliver Neuville
FW20Oliver Bierhoff 74'
FW14Gerald Asamoah 77'
MF6Christian Ziege 84'
Rudi Völler
CB4Roque Júnior 6'
RM2Cafu (c)
CM8Gilberto Silva
LM6Roberto Carlos
AM11Ronaldinho 85'
CF9Ronaldo 90'
MF19Juninho 85'
MF17Denílson 90'
Luiz Felipe Scolari

Man of the Match:
Ronaldo (Brazil)

Assistant referees:
Leif Lundberg (Sweden)
Philip Sharp (England)
Fourth official:
Hugh Dallas (Scotland)

Match rules

  • 90 minutes
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary
  • Penalty shoot-out if scores still level.
  • Twelve named substitutes.
  • Maximum of three substitutions.


Statistic Germany Brazil
Goals scored02
Total shots129
Shots on target47
Ball possession56%44%
Corner kicks133
Fouls committed2119
Yellow cards11
Second yellow card & red card00
Red cards00


Despite being present, the Japanese emperor Akihito did not join the ceremony of presenting the winners the World Cup trophy as it was against Japanese customs.[28] FIFA president Sepp Blatter and former Brazilian World Cup winner Pelé handed the trophy to Brazilian captain Cafu on the pitch stage.[29]


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  19. "Brazil – Turkey". FIFA. 2002. Archived from the original on 15 June 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
  20. "FIFA World Cup & Television" (PDF). InfoPlus. FIFA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
  21. "Nielsen Media Research: Nearly 1.5 Billion TV Viewers Watch 2002 World Cup". Business Wire. 30 July 2002. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
  22. "2002 FIFA World Cup "Stage of a Dream"". Nissan Stadium. 2002. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
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  24. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bobbymcmahon/2018/07/05/2018-world-cup-what-it-takes-to-become-the-world-cups-best-player/
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  26. Murray, Scott (30 June 2002). "Brazil 2 – 0 Germany". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
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