|Intercontinental Cup 2002/2003|
The Intercontinental cup, also known as Toyota Cup, is played at the end of every year in Tokyo between the winners of the European Champions League and the South American Copa Libertadores. This season Real Madrid participated again after their victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the European final. Their opponents were Paraguayan side Olimpia who defeated Brazil's Sao Caetano in their final. Real Madrid ran out winners for the third time in their history with goals from Ronaldo and Guti. See below for details.
Real Madrid 2 - Olimpia Asunción 0
Casillas; Michel Salgado, Hierro, Iván Helguera, Roberto Carlos;
Makelele, Cambiasso (Pavón 90'); Figo, Raúl, Zidane (Solari 85');
Ronaldo (Guti 83'). 4-2-3-1.
Ronaldo is back! The Real Madrid star returned to the International stadium in Yokohama where a few months ago his goals won the World Cup for Brazil, and produced a top performance to give his new side the Intercontinental Cup. The striker had been missing for the last couple of games after picking up a bout of flu, but he joined a full strength line up, which included captain Fernando Hierro who was himself only just returning from an injury which had kept him out of the side for a few weeks.
Ronaldo struck with only a quarter of an hour on the clock, finishing off after Raúl had cleverly stepped over a Roberto Carlos cross from the left. Their opponents, South American champions Olimpia Asunción, were no push over though, and López hit the post only a minute after Ronaldo's goal. For the rest of the half Madrid were under pressure, with Casillas making important saves from Córdoba and ex Espanyol midfielder Miguel Angel Benítez.
After the break though the Spaniards settled down, with Zidane getting a grip on midfield and Figo and Roberto Carlos causing problems for the defence down the two wings. With eight minutes to go Del Bosque rested Ronaldo to bring on Guti, who made the best of his opportunity heading a second goal past Tavarelli from Figo's cross. The players danced in the post match party chanting "Floren team", (the team that Florentino built), over and over again. Real Madrid are world champions for the third time in their history, the best possible way to round off their centenary year.