Brazil triumphant after final redemption of Ronaldo

James Lawton
Monday 01 July 2002 00:00
Comments

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.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in