goals from Ronaldo secured the World Cup
for Brazil as they claimed a deserved
victory over Germany in the final in
Yokohama.The Inter Milan star struck twice
in the second half to settle an
is the fifth time Brazil have won
football's ultimate prize, cementing their
status as the most successful team in the
history of the competition.
A World Cup of
shocks finished in familiar fashion - with
wild celebrations among the gold-clad
South American players and fans.Brazil
captain Cafu, who became the first player
to appear in three successive finals,
accepted the trophy in an emotional
prize-giving ceremony.The victory
completed a remarkable journey for Luiz
Felipe Scolari's team, who had been
written off before the World Cup following
a poor qualification campaign.
confirmed his reputation as the world's
best striker by winning the Golden Boot
award for the tournament's leading scorer
with eight goals.It was a story of
personal retribution for Ronaldo, who made
up for his anonymous display in the final
four years ago when France beat Brazil 3-0.
Ronaldo's two goals in the final here
Sunday laid to rest his nightmare of four
years ago once and for all - and also saw
him finish the World Cup as top-scorer
with eight goals in seven matches to win
the coveted Golden Boot.
"It's a fantastic feeling to be a
Brazilian tonight," an overjoyed
Ronaldo said. "The whole squad has
worked very hard. I worked for two and a
half years to be here tonight.
"Slowly, slowly I am starting to
understand what has happened,"
Ronaldo said later at a press conference.
"It will take time but I am so happy
right now. We played a great game and we
have given joy to millions of
"Even in my wildest dreams I had
never imagined that something like this
"I would be lying if I did not say
that every time I step on the pitch, every
time I score a goal and every time I enter
a ground to play, it is a victory for me.
"Just to be here is such a huge step
for me. Even if I was not a world champion
I would still be happy."
Ronaldo had helped create his first goal,
robbing German midfielder Dietmar Hamann
before releasing Barcelona ace Rivaldo
near the edge of the German penalty area.
With Germany's defence backing off,
Rivaldo unleashed a venomous low shot that
German captain and goalkeeper Oliver Kahn
failed to handle on the slick turf,
leaving Ronaldo with the simple task of
Twelve minutes later Ronaldo put the
result beyond doubt with a cracker.
Kleberson broke clear down the right and
crossed near the edge of the area.
Rivaldo's dummy over the ball sold Thomas
Linke, and Ronaldo gathered and controlled
before drilling a perfectly placed shot
Ronaldo was substituted in the final
minute for Denilson, leaving the field to
ringing applause from the 73,000 crowd,
the vast majority of whom had roared on
At the whistle the Brazilians erupted,
coach Luiz Felipe Scolari dancing with joy
and mobbing Ronaldo before the team
stepped up to the victory podium to
receive the famous trophy as the legendary
Pele looked on.
Captain Cafu - whose selection made him
the first man to play in three World Cup
finals - stood alone on a raised dais
holding the trophy to the heavens as his
team-mates celebrated before going on a
euphoric lap of honour carrying a giant
Brazil's win was also a personal triumph
for coach Scolari. Last year he had been
accused of betraying Brazil's footballing
heritage, favouring a brutal,
tough-tackling approach over their more
traditional attacking style during an
unconvincing qualifying campaign.
"It is a great feeling that Brazil
are world champions. I share in the
happiness and the joy that the Brazilian
people are feeling right now,"
"We feel joy at knowing we did our
job - but it was hard work. Nobody could
truly have imagined this," said the
Scolari's German counterpart Rudi Voller
hailed Brazil as worthy champions, saying
the individual class of the South
Americans had been too much for his side
in the end.
"We played very well in the first 35
minutes and we felt we were controlling
the game," said Voller. "But as
the game went on, we saw their great
individual talent, they are so strong in
one-on-one situations and in quick passing
and that began to give us more and more
"There's no doubt that Brazil are
worthy world champions."
German keeper Kahn was furious with
himself after making his first mistake of
the tournament in failing to hold
Rivaldo's shot for the first goal.
"Of course it's really frustrating
when you make your one mistake of the
whole tournament and you get punished like
that," said the 33-year-old, widely
regarded as the world's best goalkeeper.
"It's normal to make a mistake - but
it's ten times worse when it comes in the
final. You have to hold onto such a ball.
Nothing can console me about that - but
life goes on."
Germany had gone into the final as heavy
underdogs in what was a first ever World
Cup meeting with Brazil.
They went close to taking the lead early
in the second half, when only some fine
goalkeeping and defending denied them,
Jens Jeremies' header blocked before
Neuville saw a thunderous 30-yard
free-kick pushed onto the post by Brazil
But that was as close as Germany got.
Brazil had earlier recovered from a slow
start to carve out the best openings of
the first half, which saw two players,
Brazil's Roque Junior and Germany's
Miroslav Klose, booked by Italian referee
Pierluigi Collina in the opening nine
Kleberson sent a curling shot from outside
the area crashing against the crossbar
with Kahn beaten, and Ronaldo's shot on
the turn from eight yards was also blocked
well by Kahn.
Until then Germany had looked the more
threatening of the two sides, with the
lively Bernd Schneider finding acres of
space down Brazil's left-hand flank behind
fullback Roberto Carlos.
Tackling and hustling the Brazilians
tirelessly, Germany enjoyed plenty of
possession but it was the South Americans
who had the better chances of the half,
with Ronaldo seeing three chances go
He should have done better when released
on the edge of the penalty area thanks to
a sweet pass by Ronaldinho, back in the
Brazil side after serving a one-match
suspension. With Kahn advancing, Ronaldo's
finish with the outside of his left foot
rolled a full metre wide.
Kahn was on hand to thwart Ronaldo again
on 30 minutes, getting a hand to the
Brazilian's toe-poked effort after another
clever pass from Ronaldinho caught out the
But he was to make no mistake after the
break, to give Brazil secured another
World Cup to set alongside victories in
1958, 1962, 1970 and 1994.