Ronaldo’s glory was delayed by 4 years. After the fiasco of 1998 he ended the 2002 tournament as a world champion, and with the Golden Boot for his 8 goals, including 2 in the final, which, remarkably, was the first ever meeting between Germany and Brazil in the history of the World Cup.
France’s defence of the title was a disaster as they finished winless (this was also the last time that the champions enjoyed automatic qualification).
It was a happy goodbye to golden goals- 3 were scored.
Firsts: this was the first World Cup to be held in Asia, and the first joint hosting (FIFA will not repeat the joint hosting experiment,and both countries are bidding to host future tournaments individually).
Korea republic will always appear to have been the surprise package, finishing 4th, but they benefitted from a number of outrageous refereeing decisions on their way. Turkey acquitted themselves very well to finish 3rd, and after just 11 seconds of the 3rd place match Hakan Şükür registered the fastest ever World Cup goal .
Oliver Kahn became the first goalkeeper to be awarded the Balon D’or as most valuable player, but ironically his fumble of Rivaldo’s shot in the final gifted Ronaldo the opener. Germany only conceded 3 goals in the whole tournament.
David Beckham enjoyed some redemption when his penalty beat old rivals Argentina 1-0 in the group stage.
Ronaldo took his place in the history books with a truly bizarre haircut straight out of Tod Browning’s Freaks, the result of his 2 yr old son Ronald’s inability to distinguish between his father and teammate Roberto Carlos.