By Martin Cloake
On this very day in 2002, Brazil won a record-breaking fifth World Cup title by beating Germany 2-0 in front of 69,029 spectators at Yokohama’s International Stadium.
Both goals were scored by Ronaldo, whose eight tournament goals secured him the Golden Boot and finally laid to rest the memory of his mysterious failure to turn up at the 1998 final in France.
As it goes, Germany also broke a record of their very own in the act of losing in the final by becoming the first nation to finish as World Cup runners-up on four different occasions.
Brazil won every single one of their games at the 2002 World Cup, including a 2-1 win over England that obviously only panned out because David Seaman failed to read Ronaldinho’s masterfully shanked free-kick cross. Michael Owen’s single consolation goal was the only goal Brazil conceded during the entire knock-out stage of the tournament.
As well the famous ‘Three Rs’ of Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Rivaldo (who famously soldiered on through the final despite breaking his face in the semis against Turkey), that Brazil team also featured captain Cafu, who set his own record by becoming the first player to appear in three successive World Cup Finals.
Also appearing for Brazil was midfielder Kleberson, later immortalised by fans at Manchester United who compared him, unfavourably, to Anderson in a modified terrace version of Black Lace’s cheesy party hit Agadoo.
May his legacy live on forever.