How bright his star is shining
I was trying to think up tabloid headlines like ‘Kahn you believe it?’, ‘Ronaldo the Kahnivore’ to title this entry, but decided to keep it simple instead. Indeed, I’m only going to burden the world with another two points of game analysis. But before getting on to that, I have to say:
Congratulations to Brazil… commiserations to Germany… what a game that was…
So then, my two points… the first concerns the moment the Cup was lost; the second the moment it was won. I guess by now everyone knows when they were – the two Brazilian goals.
I had a feeling that this first meeting between Brazil and Germany might be defined by the Ronaldo/Kahn duel. It had been Kahn’s Cup until the final, in the sense that Manchester United’s European Cup victory had been Schmeichel’s Cup – the crowning moment of an illustrious career. For Ronaldo, on the other hand, there were the ghosts of France 1998 to lay to rest.
I would have felt gutted to see Germany lose 1-0 yesterday… when Kahn spilled Rivaldo’s weak shot at Ronaldo’s feet, he didn’t just give him the ball – but also the Cup. This was defining moment number one for me – not the goal itself, but Kahn’s fumble. I would have been upset to see Germany lose that way because I believe something as momentous as the World Cup should not be lost so much as won. And winning a game like that takes a positive statement of some kind…
Which is exactly what the second Brazilian goal was. A spectacularly beautiful goal, no less, which finished a move that contained everything I love about Brazilian football – blistering pace, guile and consummate skill. With that goal, I thought Ronaldo made victory legitimate.
In that second defining moment, Brazil won the World Cup.
Written by Christian Wach on Monday, July 1st, 2002