Brazil are the new world champions. Two goals from Ronaldo in the second half were enough to give the South Americans their fifth title against a battling Germany who were not quite good enough in the end. It was an open game, with both sides starting cautiously at first. Gradually though the Brazilians got the better of their opponents, and Ronaldo broke through twice only to see his first effort roll just wide and his second gathered by an excellent Kahn.
The best chances came though in the two minutes leading up to half time, Kleberson hitting the bar with a long range shot which left Kahn stranded and then Ronaldo latching on to a loose ball in the area to bring the best save of the match out of the German keeper.
The Europeans could have scored twice though themselves in the first five minutes after the break. Only a foot from Edmilson stopped a diving header from Jeremies (who was replacing the suspended Ballack) from entering the net, and then Neuville tested Marcos with a long free kick which the Brazilian keeper touched on to the post.
But this was destined to be Ronaldo's World cup, and the Inter Milan striker put his side in front midway through the second half, following up to tap the ball home after Kahn uncharacteristically spilled a long shot from Rivaldo. And then with ten minutes to go he scored again, Rivaldo cleverly stepping over a low cross from Kleberson to leave his colleague free to score his eighth goal of the tournament.
Voller brought on extra strike power, and substitute Bierhoff almost pulled one back with a fierce shot which Marcos tipped around the post. But there was little time remaining, and Scolari ran down the clock bringing on Juninho and Denilson who both made tormenting runs in the closing minutes. The disappointed Germans collected their medals with good sportsmanship, knowing that the better side had won on the day. Brazil were back at the peak, and Ronaldo's return is little short of a fairy story.
Spanish league players: Rivaldo proved once again he is one of the best players in the world when on form. He set up both goals for Ronaldo, the first with a shot which the keeper dropped and the second with a clever dummy. Both he and Roberto Carlos, who also played an excellent match, were in FIFA's ideal 16 man squad. Atlético Madrid's Juninho and Betis winger Denilson came on as late substitutes to waste time, but both showed some good touches in the few minutes they were on the field.