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Sunday, 30 June, 2002, 10:12 GMT 11:12 UK

Brazil's flamboyance wins through

By Phil McNulty
BBC Sport Online in Yokohama

Ronaldo turned silver boots into gold to take the World Cup back to Brazil and leave Germany's goalkeeping talisman Oliver Kahn heartbroken.

The Brazil superstar's flamboyant footwear lit up the night under Yokohama's floodlights.

But his Golden Boot came gift-wrapped from the normally reliable Kahn as he let the final slip from Germany's grasp.

Ronaldo has been driven by destiny in this World Cup, repairing a reputation damaged by events surrounding his dismal appearance in the losing final against France four years ago.

And when Kahn, widely accepted to be world's outstanding goalkeeper, dropped Rivaldo's shot at his feet in the 67th minute, it was a moment of deliverance for the one-time wonder boy who has been struck down by years of injuries and mental anguish.

It paved the way for Luiz Felipe Scolari's Brazil to put their name alongside the legends of previous teams.

Ronaldo's brilliant second 12 minutes from time was merely a fitting flourish for a talent re-born in Japan.

Germany were gallant, but never rose above the ordinary.

All the finesse came from a Brazil side who may not rank among the greats, but have proved more than good enough to deservedly claim an historic fifth World Cup.

Rudi Voeller's workmanlike team paid the price for failing to tame or contain Ronaldo, who even afforded Germany the luxury of missing three first half chances before destroying them in the second.

And for all the usual German organisation, it was inspiration rather than perspiration that was the deciding factor in a final that was largely low-key, but lifted by the charisma and sheer natural gifts of Ronaldo.

Germany's achievement should not be under-estimated, but when they needed to produce an element of surprise to add to their functional formation, they were found sadly wanting.

Brazil never touched the heights in a stop-start opening first half - but should have been out of sight by half-time.

Ronaldo was the culprit-in-chief as he twice failed to profit from good work by the returning Ronaldinho, jabbing wide when confronted by Kahn.

The man in search of the Golden Boot was disappointed again when he failed to control Ronaldinho's pass and allowed Kahn time to save at his feet.

Germany's response was energy and organisation, but Marcos was virtually redundant in Brazil's goal.

Rivaldo was a non-existent presence, but even without his influence Brazil created and wasted three more opportunities to break the deadlock in the last five minutes of the first half.

Kleberson dragged a shot wide and then hit the bar - then Ronaldo was denied once more by Kahn.

It was to be the final reprieve for Kahn and Germany as the goalkeeper's lapse was brutally punished by Ronaldo.

The second, however, needed no assistance from Germany.

It was a ruthlessly efficient right foot finish that set off scenes of wild celebrations among the Brazil contingent.

Ronaldo had the Golden Boot and Brazil had the World Cup - and both fit to perfection.

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