Whatever happened in the soft drizzle that fell on the International Stadium here last night, it had to be one of the most remarkable finals in the 72-year history of the World Cup. But then no one could have quite anticipated the drama and the glory of the triumph of Ronaldo and Brazil. It was maybe the greatest football story of them all. At least in terms of redemption, of a brilliantly sustained crusade to beat the odds imposed four years ago when the 21-year-old Ronaldo suffered a fall from grace in the 3-0 defeat by France in Paris. Last night, Ronaldo and Brazil completed a majestic circle with the 2-0 defeat of Germany.
Ronaldo scored both goals in the 67th and 79th minutes to deliver Brazil's fifth World Cup and land the Golden Boot awarded to the tournament's highest scorer. He had scored eight goals in seven matches, three more than his closest rivals, his team-mate Rivaldo and Miroslav Klose of Germany. It was, given his four-year battle to beat career-threatening injuries and the stigma of his collapse and ghost-like performance in the Paris final, a stunning achievement. Ronaldo said later: "I have dedicated my life to this moment for four years. I promised the Brazilian people that I would repay them for what happened and this is my greatest moment."
But the night brought misery for Oliver Kahn, the German goalkeeper and captain. Kahn, who had conceded just one goal in six matches, was at fault for the first goal when Rivaldo's shot bounced out of his grasp and into the path of Ronaldo.
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