The 2018 World Cup is just around the corner, so talkSPORT.com are trawling through the archives to relive past tournaments.
Today we are taking a look at the 2002 edition, a tournament set a number of precedents; it was the first World Cup to be held in Asia, and also the first to be jointly held by two separate countries.
Brazil won their fifth and, to date, last World Cup, beating Germany in the final 2-0. Ronaldo scored both goals in the Yokohama showpiece, taking his tally to eight for the tournament to finish with the Golden Boot as top scorer.
There were a number of shocks at the finals, including defending champions France being knocked out at the group stage, and both Turkey and South Korea reaching the semi-finals.
Ronaldo was one of the stars in Asia that summer, but who else caught the eye at the tournament? The World Cup All-Star Team is named to remember the best performers, and you can see who was selected below
2002 FIFA WORLD CUP
Hosts: South Korea and Japan
Third place: Turkey
Fourth place: South Korea
Top scorer: Ronaldo (Brazil) – 8 goals
Best Player: Oliver Kahn (Germany)
Best Young Player: Landon Donovan (United States)
2002 WORLD CUP ALL-STAR TEAM
GOALKEEPER: Oliver Kahn (Germany)
Imperious in 2002, Kahn was beaten once (by Robbie Keane) and kept five clean sheets out of six as Germany one-nilled their way to the final. Sadly for him, this is where his sheet was truly soiled. He fumbled a save into the path of Brazil striker Ronaldo, who ate the chance up. Germany lost 2-0 and while Kahn won player of the tournament, he was never quite the same keeper afterwards.
DEFENCE: Hong Myung-bo (South Korea)
The first-ever Asian player to be named in the top three players of the tournament, Hong won the Bronze Ball after leading the hosts to a historic fouth place in 2002. It’s been 16 years and we’re still trying to get our heads round how South Korea could beat Spain in the quarter-finals, but it’s fitting that Hong scored the winning penalty in the shootout. It was his fourth-consecutive World Cup, and after 135 appearances, he ended his international career with a moment to savour.
DEFENCE: Fernando Hierro (Spain)
A legend for both Real Madrid and Spain, Hierro is well known on these shores for the season he spent at Sam Allardyce’s Bolton. Before he headed to England in 2004, versatile defender Hierro won 89 international caps and played more than 500 games for Real. He won 16 trophies while playing for the Bernabeu club, including five LaLigas and three European Cups.
DEFENCE: Sol Campbell (England)
Campbell’s actions at club level made him one of the most hated footballers in the country, but he was one of the best performing defenders of his generation. On the international stage Campbell was consistenty brilliant, and he won 73 caps for the Three Lions between 1996 and 2007. When he played at the 2006 World Cup, Campbell became the first England player to represent the country at six consecutive major tournaments. As well as being voted into the 2002 World Cup All-Star Team, Campbell was also named in the team of the tournament at Euro 2004.
DEFENCE: Roberto Carlos (Brazil)
The ultimate attacking full-back, Roberto Carlos reinvented the position with his marauding runs down the flank. He is well known for his ludicrous free-kicks and the power with which he could kick the ball, having once had a shot measured at over 105 mph. His club career was primarily spent with Real Madrid, with 584 appearances made in 11 years, while he won 125 caps for his country. He was twice named in a World Cup All-Star Team, having helped Brazil to the 1998 final, and then to the gold medal in 2002.
MIDFIELD: Rivaldo (Brazil)
Despite his brilliance, this lethal Brazilian isn’t solely remembered for his eight goals in two World Cups (including five as Brazil won it in 2002). There’s another image that springs to mind. Its Rivaldo, holding his face and rolling around in agony like hes been attacked by an Alien face-hugger, after Turkeys Hakan Unsal had kicked the ball at his, erm, thigh. Such play-acting was well beneath you, Big Riv.
MIDFIELD: Ronaldinho (Brazil)
Shortly after dazzling in 2002, Manchester United tried and failed to sign this smiling assassin. The PSG whizz was the name on everyone’s lips at the time and the bain of all England fans having helped dump them out of the tournment when he lobbed David Seaman. Was it a fluke? Probably not. This is a man who won the Ballon d’Or in 2006 and the Champions League in 2006 all while never losing that contagious smile.
MIDFIELD: Michael Ballack (Germany)
When Gazza, bless his crazy socks, got booked in 1990 and knew hed miss a potential final, he cried. When the same fate befell Michael Ballack in a semi-final in 2002, he scored the goal that got Germany to a final he knew he could play no part in. This free-scoring midfielder, whose career is littered with near misses, later led his side to third place at the 2006 World Cup.
MIDFIELD: Claudio Reyna (United States)
Widely considered as one of the greatest players to ever represent the United States, Reyna is a familiar face to fans of English football. He spent six consecutive years on these shores playing for Sunderland then Manchester City, while he also represented Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and Rangers before ending his career with New York Red Bulls in his homeland. Reyna was a member of four World Cup squads (1994, 1998, 2002, 2006), and it was after the USA’s elimination from the latter edition that he announced his retirement from the international game with 111 caps and eight goals to his name.
FORWARD: Miroslav Klose (Germany)
Germany’s Polish-born head honcho he scored five with his nut in 2002 alone seemed to have perfected the art of disappointing for his club before coming alive at the World Cup. His form on the biggest stage was so good that he is the World Cup’s greatest goal scorer with 16 goals. Take that, Ronnie.
FORWARD: Ronaldo (Brazil)
Fortunately, Ronaldo had a better World Cup in Korea and Japan than in France four years earlier. El Fenomeno found redemption in 2002, scoring twice in the final against Germany as he also won the Golden Boot (with eight goals) as Brazil lifted their fifth World Cup. He was a little past his peak by 2006, but he still had enough in the tank to get the three goals required to make him the World Cups leading all-time goalscorer on 15. Fast, strong, balanced, with a cushioned touch and a deadly finish with either foot or bonce the mind boggles as to what he might have achieved had he actually ever turned up in shape.
*The 2002 World Cup All-Star Team featured 16 players. We have cut the selection down to 11 to field a 4-4-2 formation. The five players excluded are: Rustu Recber (goalkeeper, Turkey), Alpay Ozalan (defender, Turkey), Yoo Sang-chul (midfielder, South Korea), El Hadji Diouf (forward, Senegal), Hasan Sas (forward, Turkey)
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Source : TalkSport