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Wednesday, 26 June, 2002, 09:55 GMT 10:55 UK
A classic World Cup?

Korea and Japan produced upsets galore, but some feel the tournament was short on stars, great teams and classic encounters.

Did the 2002 World Cup live up to the hype and what did you make of the final?


This debate is now closed - A selection of your e-mails appear below.


This World Cup saw a broadening of interest for the Asian fans, however after the Italy, Spain and Portugal were knocked out I had little or no interest in the matches. No classic games, no high tempo matches or exciting scenarios meant this World Cup was lost as a global spectacle. Thank god the Brazilians qualified to lighten up a dire and boring competition.
Adam Lewis, UK

What has been great about this World Cup were the shock performances and the shock defeats form the many underdogs throughout the competition.

Argentina, England, Italy, Poland and Portugal all fizzled when the pressure was on and France turned out to be a one man team unable to play without Zidane.
John Fitzpatrick, UK

The World Cup finals will be remembered for the enormous levels of skills displayed by the new comers to the wonderful game of soccer.

This does not diminish the fantastic final played by two great teams, Brazil and Germany. They played their games with very impressive style, elegance and commitment. Beautiful to watch and no doubt will encourage generations of youngsters around the world to embrace this wonderful game. Thanks FIFA, you deserve all the praise.
Wilson Wilikai,Australia

Open Quote
Once again it is satisfying to see attacking football laced with flair, triumph over defensive formations often deployed by most European teams
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Ogugua Osakwe,Nigeria

It may not have been a classic World Cup, but it has been thrilling. Once again it is satisfying to see attacking football laced with flair, triumph over defensive formations often deployed by most European teams.
Ogugua Osakwe,Nigeria

A great World Cup. The majority of the teams played to win and those that failed to adopt this approach (France, Italy, England etc) all went out because they showed little desire or creativity up front.
Alan Sinclair, UK

This World Cup marked the end of international football as we know it. It was obvious which individual players were taking the tournament seriously and which ones just felt that this was an annoying distraction.

The teams that did well had players in them who really wanted to succeed and it is no coincidence that smaller emerging nations contained those players.
Truthman,England

Open Quote
Ticketing fiasco apart, the only thing the tournament lacked was a higher quality of football
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Rob P, UK

This was a great World Cup because no matter how many upsets there were, how many 'minnow's progressed it has shown that the cream always rises to the top. The usual suspects made it to the Final and who can fault them for that.

The serial underachievers of Spain, Italy, Portugal and the massively over-hyped England have had their inadequacies shown to the world.
ER, N. Ireland

Well done to Korea and Japan for a brilliantly organised World Cup. Stadia, transport, facilities, atmosphere, security and crowd control all exceeded expectations. Ticketing fiasco apart, the only thing the tournament lacked was a higher quality of football.
Rob P, UK

Without a doubt this will be remembered as the World Cup that form forgot. This was certainly not the greatest tournament ever, although it would be unfair to call it the worst.

Ahn's golden goal against Italy is my striking memory of the tournament as it sums up the 'giant killing' aspect which was so predominant. This was a World Cup of very few classic games and very few outstanding individual performances.
Tom Kiehl, UK

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Unquestionably this was an exhilarating World Cup
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David Alexander, UK

This is perhaps the best World Cup in quite a while. The fans were amazing and the level of sportsmanship throughout deserves praise. Brazil restored the world order as one of the soccer powerhouses. They deserved to win and won beautifully.

Congratulations Brazil and congratulations Ronaldo who collectively showed what determination, talent and faith can achieve. What a difference four years makes. Well done Brazil and well done Ronaldo.
Karen, Singapore

This has been a very good World Cup. The great moments of brilliance from the samba kings, great Irish spirit, good solid performances by Turkey and South Korea made for a very entertaining World Cup.
Sobhi, Lebanon

This World Cup saw great performances by teams like S.Korea and Turkey. Even the third place match was great! It has been the first time I've seen such a fantastic demonstration of friendship and unity in a tournament.
John, UK

Unquestionably this was an exhilarating World Cup. However some of the refereeing was highly suspicious and the ticketing operations were shambolic.

Open Quote
I have been watching the World Cup since 1982 and this has beaten USA 1994 in the contest for the dullest that I can remember
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Andrew Shaw,England

FIFA need to do some soul searching before they start planning 2006. It was the uplifting spirit of the Japanese and South Koreans that made this the memorable event it ultimately became.
David Alexander, UK

I have been watching the World Cup since 1982 and this has beaten USA 1994 in the contest for the dullest that I can remember.Is anyone seriously suggesting that there were games to compare with say Brazil-Italy 1982, Brazil-France 1986, England-Germany 1990?
Andrew Shaw,England

I simply had to respond to the naive comments of Simon Davis (below). I personally feel the haircuts at this World Cup were nothing more than average.

Does he not remember the exquisite Keegan perm or the ground-breaking Baggio rats-tail? Ronaldo does deserve special mention, however, for recovering so well from the tired look he sported at France '98.
Nicola,England

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FIFA may have branded the World Cup a success, but what about the ticketing fiasco?
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Adrian, England

Personally, I'm disappointed that my team, England, didn't get further, but we didn't play well enough to deserve it. However, I saw enough potential in the younger players to look forward to Euro '04 with confidence. Thanks to the people of Japan and Korea for providing an environment that enabled such a great experience.
Neil, Japan

For me this World Cup was a good exciting tournament, it showed that many nations have progressed a long way in the last four years, unfortunately it appears the match officials have not.
Chris, England

FIFA may have branded the World Cup a success, but what about the ticketing fiasco? Thousands of empty seats and fans forced to buy tickets on the black market. The fans, host nations and the football may have been great but what about Fifa themselves?
Adrian, England

It's noticeable that most of the European based players didn't perform as well as expected. Are they suffering from too many games or too much hype?
Martin, England

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Teams like Korea and Japan has proved that the difference between the big teams and smaller teams are getting reduced very fast
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Malay Kapat, India

I wanted to see a World Cup full of classic encounters, classic goals. I wanted to watch the superstars of world football like Zidan, Figo, Beckham and Owen weave their magic. Instead we have found new heroes like Diouf, Hasan Sas, Ballak and Klose.

Teams like Korea and Japan has proved that the difference between the big teams and smaller teams are getting reduced very fast. Overall it has been a nice World Cup with lots of upsets.
Malay Kapat, India

I thoroughly enjoyed the World Cup and being in Asia we had 'time on our side'. I've never been interested in soccer, but the Brazilian team made a soccer fan out of me! They truly deserve to be champions!
Lakshika, Singapore

The enthusiasm of the fans of the host nations made this a World Cup to remember. Buoyant after the success of both host nation teams I think we will see Asia emerge as a very strong contender in the footballing world. Mick McCarthy's Irish boys were the best, of course!
Johnny Muff,Ireland

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Football was the winner of this World Cup
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Zakariya, UK

Some will talk of the upsets which brought excitement to blossoming football nations. True, and congratulations to those teams who exceeded expectations. But I mourn the loss of two great teams playing pure quality football at the highest level, something we did not see once in this World Cup, not even in the final.
Gary Lord, Australia

Did someone really write that the FA Cup is better than the World Cup? Am I dreaming? Or is this just another example of how English football is hyped up and advertised around the world as being way better then it actually is?

And for those who complain that Germany and Brazil were not the best teams - you still have to win all your games to get there (regardless of the opponent) and I didn't see England, France, Argentina et al doing that!
Becca, UK

The World Cup was by no way a classic, too many weak teams, with even the victors being a shadow of past teams. However, it had the excitement of the FA Cup third round - the giant killing and knowing that things, somewhere, will not run to plan. In that sense it was a rare thing in modern football, so let us please have more.
Stephen Lloyd, England

Football was the winner of this World Cup, and therefore it is fitting that the team who plays the game the best should win it. I am absolutely delighted that Brazil are the world champions again as I support them all the way, and it is wonderful to see such Brazilian attack-minded, flamboyant, skilful and frankly beautiful football prevail over European organisation, formations & tactics.
Zakariya, UK

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All the upsets made every game crucial watching
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Matt, England

This World Cup has been brilliant and those who think they were robbed for not seeing the likes of Italy, Argentina, and France in the last eight obviously do not know their football.

Argentina, France, Italy & Portugal went home early because they were outplayed, not because they didn't perform, hence team work overcame individual skill. The last eight deserve to be there, well done to all 32 teams anyway who made it a great World Cup. Japan and Korea put on a spectacular show with the best fans and superb stadiums. Congratulations to Brazil.
Eren, UK

It may not have been a great World Cup for the established nations, but the emerging nations such as South Korea were a real delight. It will be interesting to see whether or not they will be able to repeat their success.
Peter Tang, UK

The stadia and pitches were great and the tournament had more than its fair share of upsets. However the overall quality of football was somewhat disappointing. Not a classic World Cup.
Brian Smith,Scotland

It was by far the best yet. All the upsets made every game crucial watching. Korea & Japan did a fantastic job, great support-I don't know of another nation who would go out and buy shirts so they could support the opposition because they thought they wouldn't have enough fans. It was wonderful to see. The final was a great match.
Matt, England

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When a team like the US, full of the rejects of European football does well, you know it's been poor
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Ian Harvey, UK

It was a World Cup made memorable by Ronaldo. A gifted player who we hope may once again reach the greatness he achieved before France '98. A classic no, but for those who have followed Ronaldo these past four years it was a dream.
Dean, Spain

I would agree with the consensus opinion that this wasn't a great World Cup. Upsets don't make for great games only interesting results. However, for me the big disappointment (at least in Japan) was the lack of atmosphere on the streets. Even in the host cities you would be hard-pressed to know that the World's greatest sports event was taking place.

A few over-reported wild nights in the bars of Roppongi don't represent the dull atmosphere in the rest of Tokyo and Japan. The games were held in too many cities, too widely spread and the fear of hooligans led to an overbearing police presence around the stadium and a lack of entertainment opportunities. There needed to be a permanent World Cup village in the centre of Tokyo to act as a point of focus and create a bit of razzmatazz.
Graham,England (but writing from Japan)

This World Cup was extremely disappointing. Argentina's bad luck and England's failure just made the finals finish really early for me.
Ally, Poland

A poor tournament only brightened by a few games. When a team like the US, full of the rejects of European football does well, you know it's been poor.
Ian Harvey, UK

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The only thing worse than the standard of the football was the standard of some of the referees
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Mark Thomas, England

I can't understand negative comments about the World Cup, and even more people who complain that the stars of their club may get injured playing football for their country (even though they will probably change clubs within two years).

The World Cup was excellent - most games were thoroughly enjoyable and I know lots of people who normally are not the slightest bit interested in football, avidly watching some of the games.
Alan, Birmingham, England

I remember the Turks and the Koreans embracing and waving to the fans after the third place match. I think that was the best moment of this World Cup.
Khairi, Malaysia

Staging the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan has been a success. However, the quality of the football, with one or two exceptions has been way below par. I've seen better matches in the English third division. Roll on Euro 2004 and Germany 2006.
Mike Taylor, UK

The only thing worse than the standard of the football was the standard of some of the referees and their assistants.
Mark Thomas, England

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Rarely has such a novel selection of haircuts graced the world stage
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Simon Davis, UK

This year's tournament have shown the level of football development world wide. It has proved that there are no more underdogs. Any country can win the cup.
Dele Awosusi,Nigeria

What was refreshing this World Cup is the fact that TV pundits didn't need to comment on the hooligans or the bad press that surrounded security at previous recent tournaments. I can't say that Germany 2006 inspires me with the confidence that hooliganism has disappeared.

Players and coaches can play their part by providing us with entertaining football. It was clear this year that those countries that went out to play football instead of trying to stifle teams, faired better. Maybe some of the lesser countries are naive to think this style will always win games, but they provided us with the best of this frankly average footballing tournament.
Richard Stafford,UK

How much better the World Cup would have been if Collina could have been ref for every game - especially as he is unlucky for Kahn! Nice result at the end, but too little of substance in this World Cup - a team as poor as Germany making it through to the finals says it all.
Diana Toolan, England

Rarely has such a novel selection of haircuts graced the world stage. Ronaldo richly deserved the Golden Roots Award.
Simon Davis, UK

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It was an average World Cup - full of controversy and with only a handful of good games
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SA, Greece

I watched the World Cup to see Ronaldo, Zidane, Figo and company working their magic, but with the exception of Ronaldo it wasn't there. Roll on the Champions League - far more exciting!
Mark, UK

Weirdly poor performances and bad luck removed France, Italy, and Argentina before the quarter-finals.

England waged an epic campaign until crumpling with a whimper in the second half against Brazil, and somehow the most boring German side in years slipped into the final - only to be rightly crushed by South American virtuosity.

I lost about two weeks worth of sleep while watching matches here in North America. Good night, all: I am going to bed for the month of July.
Matt, US (formerly England)

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Rob has obviously been watching a different tournament to the rest of the world
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Andre,USA/India

It was an average World Cup, full of controversy and with only a handful of good games. As for Europe or South America being seriously challenged, people should consider the average number of points per continent and stop repeating this nonsense.
SA, Greece

Rob has obviously been watching a different tournament to the rest of the world. This World Cup has been by far the best, and was much better than France '98. I wonder what Rob would have felt had England won it.

I for one think the Brazilians were simply the most brilliant side in the tournament, and their flair and talent were too much for boring European sides to handle. The performances of the Koreans, Americans, Turkey and Senegal must make the traditional powers nervous.
Andre,USA/India

I couldn't agree more with Rob. One great game (Senegal v Uruguay) in the whole tournament is a joke. And no, there is not a "new world order" in football. The top teams played terrible and a host of mediocre teams took advantage. It won't happen again.
Tim Brehenay, England

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The English certainty of World Cup glory was laughable and arrogant
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Eddie O'Callaghan, Ireland
It's been a great World Cup. The traditional world order has been shaken up. No team is unbeatable. This was a hard pill to swallow for many, but it's about time it happened. Open your eyes England, your players are only human. A win makes them the best team on earth and a loss makes them the worst.The English certainty of World Cup glory was laughable, cocky and arrogant. A bit of modesty wouldn't go astray.
Eddie O'Callaghan, Ireland

Au contraire, Monsieur Bonnet. This has been one of the best World Cups, as for once it's been completely unpredictable. Who would have thought that America would have been hard done by in losing a quarter-final to Germany?

Or that the third-place play-off would be between Turkey and South Korea, both of whom narrowly lost semi-finals to Brazil and Germany? The teams have been the stars, proving that the wunderkinder weren't going to rule the roost. (I seem to remember Rob believeing Valeron would be the star of the World Cup).

Anyone who is disappointed by the standard of the 'top' teams in the World Cup is missing the point.
Nathan Hamer, Wales

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It sounds to me like the English should take a page from our baseball league and hold a tournament involving only British teams
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Jon, USA
The 2002 World Cup may not have lived up to the expectations of the bookmakers, but it has proved that football is no longer the birth right of countries in Europe and South America. Countries from Asia and Africa can equally lay claim to playing football and before long any of the countries from these continents would win the World Cup.
Chinyere Ogbonna, Nigeria

It sounds to me like the English should take a page from our baseball league and hold a tournament involving only British teams and call it the World Cup. That way they would have an even better chance of making the final and wouldn't have to worry about all those countries with their talentless, lucky, boring, and classless play spoiling the tournament.

Maybe they could include Iceland to give the tournament a real international flavor. After all, we include Canada in our World Series.
Jon, USA

Bullseye Rob! You're right on. This World Cup makes football look like an ugly sport. I don't think I'll watch the finals. France '98 was ten times better. I had high hopes but they died instantly.
Santhya, Canada

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Compared to Euro 2000, this was a disappointing tournament
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Azusa,Japan
I completely agree, no team could has been outstanding, teams seem to be relying on good fortune rather than outclassing opponents.
Neil Cobbe, England

If this was a poor World Cup then where does that put England , we had the best chance ever to win it and we blew it
David, England

That was one of the most idiotic, self-indulgent columns I've read so far on this year's World Cup. Rob seems to just like the sound of his own dissenting voice. what World Cup was he watching? Fast food indeed. time to head out to pasture Rob as you have nothing of worth to say.
Bill, USA

Couldn't agree more with Rob.

Compared to Euro 2000, this was a disappointing tournament, with appallingly bad officiating as well as lack of creativity in the matches. If only Recoba or Rui Costa could have stayed longer...
Azusa,Japan

Hey Rob, you sound like Brian Glanville in 1970 on the shortcomings of Pele and co. at the onset of the compitition.I would venture to say that the best English World Cup team could not beat this "bad" Brazilian team.

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Just what kind of game will make it a "memorable" moment?
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Sarah, U.S.A
Rivaldo cynical? How about your Nobby Stiles in 1966? You wish you had a striker with half the skills of Rivaldo. Your problem is you watch too much English football and you don't know what skill is.
Carl Gruber, USA

Just what kind of game will make it a "memorable" moment? Do you expect a player to jump in the air, do five cartwheels before he puts in a goal? Will THAT make it a "memorable" moment in the tournament? It's football. Players shoot balls into the net - simple as that. What more do you want??
Sarah, U.S.A

Yes, this tournament has been an absolute classic. We'll never see another one like it and it should stand tall in the history of the World Cup as one of the most remarkable tournaments of all time. One in which the arrogance of some of football's top nations cost them glory and team efforts and fighting spirit were the diffenerce for many. Ireland, Senegal, Denmark, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Sweden and even finalists Germany were never given a chance of progressing far in the World Cup.

Even mighty Brazil has show that they can, at times, put their prima donna-ism on the shelf and win together, as they did in dispatching England. The lesson of this World Cup is that you cannot do it on your own, teamwork and team spirit are what count!
Dwayne Mampe, Canada

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It's nice to see that there are so many posts here full of sour grapes!
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Paulo, Brazil
Food for thought Rob. A Brazil-Germany final doesn't inspire me I must admit, but there have been glorious reminders of the beautiful game during this contest. The passion of South Korea, the emerging skill of Ireland, the tenacity of Turkey. A lot is lost in the homogenization of the game, but let's at least take heart in the fact that the favourites some shocks.
Paul, Holland

It's nice to see that there are so many posts here full of sour grapes! The two best teams are in the final so stop whinging and appreciate it. England, Argentina and France were all media hype playing boring football. This has been better than France 98, but most Euoropeans just don't like going home early. Deal with it guys, your going to get a lot more World Cups like this where you will flop BIGTIME!
Paulo, Brazil

Unless you're European this has been a fine World Cup. Much better than boring old France 98 where a mediocre team won the cup beating an underpar brasil. Two of the best teams are in the final and Ronaldo has lit up this competition. I hope we have more cups like this unlike Euro dominated ones...after all - this IS the World Cup.
James, USA

Great World Cup! Nice to see so called "big" European teams getting their butts kicked out so early! They went to Asia thinking they could waltz through it...and when they got beaten they blamed the poor refs and just about everything else. I had a lot of respect for European teams for being professional but sadly have proved to be just sore losers.
Paul, USA

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Very disappointing from someone in Rob Bonnet's priviliged position to take the negative viewpoint
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Jim Agnew,England
And who were the stars of France 98? Zidane? Give me a break, I don't remember one goal he scored...I will remember Ronaldo's goals in this tournament for a long time. This cup has had it all, including stars galore!
Eric,USA

Very disappointing from someone in Rob Bonnet's priviliged position to take the negative viewpoint on all aspects of the tounament. Rob failed to spot that there were classic encounters, just in a different format, this time as David and Goliath. No great teams!? So Rob's not seen this Brazillian side then who have scored in every game.

As a spectacle no club football could match it anywhere in the world. Roll on four years time. Rob Bonnet - were you really there ?
Jim Agnew,England

Yes, I agree. But what was the World Cup supposed to deliver that would require a 'Christmastised' World Cup?
Kimutai Robert, Kenya

While the upsets kept things interesting, the tournament ultimately has been a disappointment with respect to the quality of the teams and the lack of individual stars.
Mike, USA

Great World Cup, but terrible referees. This World Cup has been the best so far as not many people expected teams like the USA, Senegal, Turkey, South Korea or even England to go past the group stages.
George Nipah, England

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This World Cup has been outstanding for only two things - mediocrity and controversy
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Jennifer Debono, Malta
I feel disappointed because I don't think that Brazil or Germany are truly great sides. Italy, Mexico, France and England should be kicking themselves for lacklustre performances, and the Argentineans must really be sick.
James Davey, UK

Everyone expects to see the usual sides in the last four but this World Cup has shown that no team should be taken for granted!It would have been wonderful if Senegal had qualified for the semi-finals as four continents would have been represented.
Ganesha Periasamy, Singapore

World Cup 2002 has produced several upsets. It has been a great adventure for many unfancied teams but questions will remain with regard to the quality of teams.
Roy Okec, Uganda\England

Rob's description is spot on! Although we have seen the rise of Asian football from Korea and Turkey they were, in essence, filling a vacuum left by tired squads who largely play in England, Italy and Spain.
John O'Sullivan, England

This World Cup has been outstanding for only two things - mediocrity and controversy. We saw many matches but no real football. The Premiership, the FA Cup and Champions League offer so much more and this World Cup can only be described as rubbish in comparison.

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The best teams have not delivered and, therefore, the football has not been of the highest standard
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Scott, England
There is something drastically wrong when two teams who barely made it through the qualification stages contest the final.
Jennifer Debono, Malta

Rob, your disillusionment with the modern game stems more from a deep disappointment in England not going further in the competition. There was a realistic expectation that the team could get to the final, which makes the letdown worse than in previous World Cup finals.
Geoff, UK

Couldn't agree more! The best teams have not delivered and, therefore, the football has not been of the highest standard. Perhaps we have just been spoilt with such superb Champions League football. Real Madrid would have walked this World Cup!
Scott, England

I have to say I disagree with most of the comments of Rob Bonnet. This World Cup has thrown up many surprises and some truly memorable moments, from Beckham's penalty to the euphoria of the South Korean fans. The skill level and quality of the games has mostly been excellent.
Matthew Hunt, England

Rob Bonnet is spot on, as usual. Has the Champions League become more important than the World Cup?
Mark Chappels, UK

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Senegal, South Korea, Japan and Turkey have all been rewarded for their hard work
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Zuke, England
Rubbish! It has been superb. It may not be remembered as a good World Cup in Europe or South America, but it will be looked back on with pride by Asian and African sides.
Tim, England

Rob Bonnet's been reading too much Naomi Klein. The World Cup has been a disappointment in that there have been no classic matches. However, it is wrong to argue that this is because the 'product' is, or has been, oversold.

Certainly a few of the European sides were a disappointment but this is mainly because other sides have caught up and have made the tournament more competitive.
Leo McCann, UK

This is the best article Rob Bonnet has ever written. You have hit the nail on the head...
Billy Johnson, England

Rob Bonnet is talking nonsense! This has been the best World Cup ever. Finally, teams have rid themselves of the fear of playing supposed "superpowers" and have taken the game on with a new spirit of endeavour. Senegal, South Korea, Japan and Turkey have all been rewarded for their hard work.
Zuke, England

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This has been one of the most fabulous festivals of football ever
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Brian Barrett, Britain
I agree almost entirely with Rob Bonnet. The excitement of the early days of the tournament has waned dramatically for me - in fact I didn't even try to get time off work to see the semi-finals!
Mark, England

The euphoria which has grown from this World Cup is false. The fans of the co-hosts South Korea and Japan have carried the whole tournament. How can the poorest German team ever get to the final?
Steve Lyon, England

Oh dear, Rob, got up on the wrong side of the bed? The Irish team were wonderful and the whole nation rejoiced at their efforts. Korea and America have taken pride in their teams and even the English beat one of their bogey teams. Sure the final is an anti-climax, but long live the World Cup. It is simply the greatest sporting event on Earth!
Fursey McHugh, Belgium

I can't believe this! Have I been watching a different tournament from everybody else? This has been one of the most fabulous festivals of football ever. How can Rob Bonnet and others dismiss this tournament as not having produced any stars and moaning about the lack of entertainment?The Brazilians have been brilliant and the Germans have deserved to win their matches.
Brian Barrett, Britain

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Rob's comments are a little harsh, but do possibly carry some weight
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Manish Soni, Abingdon
Would Rob be so 'disappointed' if England were in the final? The progress of Senegal, S Korea and Turkey has been well deserved and has made this World Cup much more interesting than others in the past.
Raj, England

What World Cup has Rob Bonnet been watching? It's been great!
Richard, UK

Spot on, Rob. Bland, unadventurous and cynical football. I'm not even going to bother watching the final.
Jonathan Conway, Hong Kong

Rob's comments are a little harsh, but do possibly carry some weight with respect to some teams underperforming, possibly from match fatigue.
Manish Soni, Abingdon

Surely not sour grapes Rob? This has been a wonderful World Cup. It started on day one, when Senegal beat France and the shocks have continued. I don't know about you Rob, but I for one am looking forward to what will be a memorable final - and to seeing Ronaldo regain his crown as the world's greatest footballer!
Brian Malone, Ireland

I agree with Rob Bonnet totally - too much emphasis is placed on quantity, and not enough on quality. This, however, goes for the Premiership, Champions League, European Championships and the World Cup. Imagine how great this World Cup could have been had all the star players been fresh, both mentally and physically?
Paul, UK

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This World Cup has been slightly disappointing, compared to Euro 2000
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Andrew Weber, Australia
One of the things that has surprised me is the tolerance now shown towards players tugging jersys from behind and physically manhandling their opponents.

Far too many exciting attacks foundered through tactics that looked more like rugby. This sort of thing is killing good soccer skills and it must be stopped.
Dave Smith,New Zealand

I think if you followed the Korean team, you'd say this was the best of all time, except maybe the immortal tournament in 1970. There has been so much suspense, drama, and euphoria after the victories and defeats. When Korea lost, I felt sad that their odyssey was over, but only in the end can you truly reflect what an accomplishment took place.

If you watched this tournament so that top players like Zidane, Beckham, Raul, Figo, Vieri, and Bautistuta would dominate, you must be disappointed. But if you came to watch inspirational and exciting games, I'm confident this would rank among the top 5.
Chris Lee, Vancouver, BC

I have to say that this World Cup has been slightly disappointing, compared to Euro 2000. I know it's always good to see fairytale teams do well, such as Cameroon and Bulgaria previously.

However when there are too many underdogs reaching the latter stages it sort of takes the polish of it. It's just unfortunate that teams such as Portugal and Argentina did not get the luck they deserved for their performances. Overall, it has just been too defensive for my liking and a Brazil v Germany final does not look to interesting.
Andrew Weber, Australia

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For pure entertainment, this World Cup takes the cake
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Peter Park, Korea

This World Cup will be remembered as an omen for change. The underdogs are coming of age - combining enthusiasm, courage, desire, and improved technical skill to press the established order.
Steve,Canada

It has been a reasonably good World Cup, with quite a lot of attacking football being played. If Brazil win it, it will be great, as the message will go out loud and clear, that flair and skill are still the qualities needed, not just robotic efficiency.
Swapnesh, India

Contrary to Herr Beckenbauer's belief, this has been one of the classic World Cups. What more can you ask? The two biggest giants in world football, Brazil and Germany, are in the Final. We've also had the fairy tale stories in Korea, Senegal, Turkey and USA in the quarters and semis. For pure entertainment, this World Cup takes the cake.
Peter Park, Korea

This tournament has been laborious and boring; laborious for the defence and boring for the fans. I think all the Forwards (except maybe Robbie Keane) in the tournament had enough time to relax on the field or learn new tricks about.

The Fans who travelled to the most expensive nation in the world must be feeling robbed off their money.
Deepak Bhardwaj, India

This World Cup has been uneven at best. At times, it has been exciting but at others it has fallen to the level of comic opera.

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An exciting World Cup, but the quality of football has been poor
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Andy, England

Too many crucial calls have been blown (Spain's goal in extra time, Totti's ejection, numerous goals disallowed) and too many flops have resulted in a game that doesn't flow but is based primarily on goals from set-pieces and penalties.

Overall it has been an average World Cup but not great. For FIFA, it certainly has been a success as the increased interest generated in Asia will pay dividends in the future. However, it seems this has been at the expense of some of the other teams (Spain, Italy and Portugal).
Terzo, China

I have enjoyed this world cup, mainly because of the performance of the so called under-dogs and the bringing to ground of some of the more arrogant nations.

But, it has not been a great world cup in terms of good football, team performances and individual flair. An exciting World Cup, but the quality of football has been poor. I suspect the final will be a drab affair, as they usually are, because the fear of losing is greater than the desire to entertain.
Andy, England

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This tournament has been laborious and boring
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Deepak Bhardwaj, India

I got a feel for the World Cup in 1998 and this year's is the first I actually watched like I would watch basketball play-offs or American football play-offs. I love rooting for the underdog so although this may not have been a classic World Cup, I loved it.

I think that if you judge this competition by how many new fans it attracted it is probaly the most successful in decades.
Jimmy Linsley, USA

There have been plenty of disappointments but many high points as well! I was glad to see that it wasn't all about all the same teams again. Although we have a Germany and Brazil final, it was nice to see Korea and Turkey get into the semis.

However, England did not flourish. After an excellent first half display against Sweden and a good match against Argentina, it died from there.

Denmark was a good scoreline, but Denmark did not play well enough to be called worthy opponents. Brazil was fairly diabolical. Especially the last 10 minutes. But I have thoroughly enjoyed the World Cup this year, can't wait til 2006!
Chris Rudd, England

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This World Cup has left me cold. There have been few stars, few very good sides and not one classic encounter to speak of
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Terry Kelleher, UK

Nobody can say it was a bad World Cup. Who will forget the number of shock results? Surely a World Cup with as many outsiders going through as in this one must be good for football? The gap between the teams worldwide is getting smaller all the time, which is for the good of the game. A wonderful World Cup.
Daniel, Germany

This World Cup has left me cold. There have been few stars, few very good sides and not one classic encounter to speak of. Then to cap it all, the worst Germany side in living memory gets to the final. If they win it, football is dead.
Terry Kelleher, UK

It was a great World Cup and the Korean team made me proud. The only disappointing factor was that the media tainted the whole competition by making a big deal out of small mistakes made by the referees. Besides that, there were great matches and I enjoyed it.
Chris, USA

I think this World Cup has shown that footballing times are changing. No more can the big name countries continue to live off their past reputations and think that just turning up grants them victory.

Senegal, Turkey, South Korea and the USA and Ireland could've been in the semis. This can only be a good thing, and there an be no more so-called ''teams to make up the numbers.'' It will only make for more exciting and close tournaments in the future. Roll on Euro 2006! Ireland and England in the final!
Andy Brown,Ireland

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As a 38-year-old football-loving Turkish male...the best ever by far!
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Gokhan Dogan,England

As the tournament has gone on I have become less and less impressed with the standard of football being played. Several of the up and coming nations have shone, but only because the top teams have failed to live up to expectation. I just think that football as a whole has too much at stake and that players are afraid to play their natural game for fear of losing.
Garry Higgins,UK

I think the World Cup is played in the worst period of the year for all Europe-based players. Everybody is tired after a long European season. But despite this, there are no excuses for Argentina, France, Italy, England and Portugal. I also want to believe that the referees are bad professionals rather than match manipulators.
Helio Sassen Paz, Brazil

As a 38-year-old football-loving Turkish male...the best ever by far!
Gokhan Dogan,England

The 2002 World Cup has been outstanding. There has been all the drama and surprises that go along with great football; fantastic fans, the blaming of refs, tremendous upsets. This World Cup has had great emotions, and superior playing ability.
Eric Hilger,USA

It has been a great World Cup from the first game. As a Brazilian to see France lose the first game, it was fantastic. Brazil did have an easy first round (except for the Turks), and we have defeated Belgium (who defeated France prior to the World Cup) and the almight English team.

When you do watch the grand final of the World Cup between Brazil and Germany, enjoy the beautiful game of football that the Brazilian team will display.
Pablo Neumann,Brazil


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