Posts Tagged ‘ World Cup 2002 ’

World Cup 2002

Looked back at the 2002 World Cup, from recapping key moments to kits to goals to the performance of the USMNT.

Read both parts below and let me know thoughts in the comments below.

Bad Hair, a Historic Run, Crazy Fans and Bad Refereeing (World Cup 2002) Part 1

Kits, Shoes, Tactics and Team of the Tournament (World Cup 2002) Part 2

 

Kits, Shoes, Tactics and Team of the Tournament (World Cup 2002) Part 2

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Kits

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The big performance feature of the tournament was a mesh panel over a sewn in base layer. Adidas went for contrasting colors on some shirts which worked with most jerseys except for the white ones, with France and China coming to mind. Nike’s template saw an angled chest section accented with several different features: contrasting colored triangles at the collarbone and rib cage panels, raglan sleeves and a mixture of collars.

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Of course the most unique kit had to have been Cameroon, which saw sleeves sewn into a tank top designed kit in order to meet FIFA regulations. Germany wore the same kit (white shirt, black shorts, white socks) in every match. I owned the Nigeria home shirt from this competition for while but eventually got rid of it. My post on the shirt and the Super Eagles tournament can be found here.

For full pics, please check out Historical Football Kits World Cup 2002 page and, for informed analysis on kit design, listen to the Football Attic Kit podcast dedicated to the tournament.

Shoes

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On the shoe front adidas had recently released the Predator Mania ahead of the tournament. The shoe was much less stylized than the previous versions and didn’t have the fins. A traditional looking boot, the tongue was held in place with an elastic band that went under the shoe, and blades rather than studs were used and the shoe featured a heel cup.

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Nike continued on with their Mercurial Vapor line and launched it with the famous Secret Tournament campaign. Focusing on making the lightest boot possible, the outsole was made of a synthetic material called Nike Skin. The shoe also contained an external heel counter and a “glass” filled outsole called NikeFrame.

Tactics

I couldn’t find much in the way of tactical innovations so I focused on the US v Mexico Round of 16 game and the winners of the tournament.

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I had it stuck in my brain that Claudio Reyna played some sort of RBW/RM but didn’t know if that was right or why one of the most technical players in the US Soccer history was manning the channels. Research proved that I remember correctly and this position was the result of squad changes. Bruce Arena rolled out a 3-5-2 against their CONCACAF rivals. Friedel was between the sticks with Berhalter, Pope and Sanneh in a three man back line with Mastroeni back in the squad to help clog the middle. Lewis and Reyna played wing back to provide defensive cover and O’Brien and Donovan started and linked the attack, which was led by Wolff and McBride. The US gave up possession but kept Mexico at arm’s length, only giving up one shot. An early goal from McBride allowed a dogged organization to take over and the United States saw off Mexico. This tactical tweak secured the result for the Stars and Stripes and added another Dos a Cero to the rivalry.

(Thanks to MLS Soccer and US Soccer for resources.)

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As for Brazil, everyone remembers an awesome attack of the three R’s but the midfield corps was disrupted by an injury to Emerson before the tournament and a change by Scolari in the knockout stages. Michael Cox of Zonal Marking examined the team and saw the Seleccao move from a midfield of Emerson and Juninho Paulista to a midfield of Gilberto Silva and Juninho Paulista, who was then replaced by Kleberson. The result was a 3-4-1-2 with a back three of Lucio, Edmilson and Roque Juinor and Cafu and Roberto Carlos as wingbacks. Ronaldinho took the ball off the back line and got it up to Rivaldo and Ronaldo. Not really a tactical innovation by Scolari but one that got Brazil’s World Cup Qualification back on track, maximized his player pool and captured the country’s fifth title.

Team of the Tournament

Reviewing the Team of the Tournament, the memories came flooding back. Kahn was a beast but had an unfortunate moment in the Final. Rustu would get a cup of coffee at Barcelona but spent most of his career in Turkey. Hong Myung Bo was a rock in the back for the hosts. The three R’ed attack of Brazil was a sight to behold. I loved Hasan Sas and actually created a player based on him for a FIFA game. And of course who could forget El Hadji Diouf. The Senegalese striker had a great summer but a series of terrible spells followed in England afterwards.

Goalkeepers: Oliver Kahn (Germany); Rustu Recber (Turkey)

Defenders: Roberto Carlos (Brazil); Sol Campbell (England); Hong Myung Bo (South Korea); Alpay Ozalan (Turkey); Fernando Hierro (Spain)

Midfielders: Rivaldo, Ronaldinho (Brazil); Claudio Reyna (United States); Michael Ballack (Germany); Yoo Sang Chul (South Korea)

Forwards: Ronaldo (Brazil); El Hadji Diouf (Senegal); Hasan Sas (Turkey); Miroslav Klose (Germany)

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All in all, a strange tournament due to the timing and multiple locations but one that I will remember for the United States’ fine performance and exposure to new teams like Senegal, Turkey and South Korea. Kit game wasn’t that strong but some of the goals were quite tasty.

Read Part 1 here and check out more posts on my trips, research and memories on the MatchDay Memories page.

Bad Hair, a Historic Run, Crazy Fans and Bad Refereeing (World Cup 2002) Part 1

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Four years on from France 98 and I was ready. Having been completely consumed by Euro 2000, I looked forward to the World Cup in Japan and South Korea. With the help of the internet I was able to learn more and more about the teams and stay up to date on the most recent results.

The tournament started earlier than usual due to the rainy season and, due to the time difference, games kicked off in the middle of the night here in the United States. The United States had qualified (including the first Dos a Cero in Columbus) and opened up against a Portugal team led by their Golden Generation (Vitor Baia, Sérgio Conceição, Jorge Costa, Rui Costa, Fernando Couto, Luís Figo, Nuno Gomes, João Pinto, etc.), who had made the semis of Euro 2000.

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The night before the game I had a strange dream, a dream in which the United States thrashed the Portuguese in a stunning upset. Quite the premonition but complicated by the fact that I had slept through the match, missing the Stars and Stripes stunning achievement. I awoke in the early hours and drove to a friend’s house where local coaches were assembling to watch the match, and, as the memorable first half unfolded, my dream was becoming a reality. Portugal fought back and nearly saved a point, but the US held on and set the stage for a historic tournament, in which they reached the Quarter Finals.

This tournament was memorable for several reasons. Recently wed, my wife and I had rented the upstairs of a house and were starting our lives together. Our house didn’t have air conditioning, so I was sweating in the heat even at 2am. I was able to get out of the house to watch the morning matches, as a local bar hosted watch parties for the US games. It was my first taste of communal watching with US fans and not just ex-pats watching EPL and FA Cup games.

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Referees were in the news due to several key decisions: Italy falling to South Korea, partly due to some dubious decisions; Spain also losing to the hosts and some even more questionable calls (ball not going out of bounds, phantom whistles, etc); and the no handball call in the Germany/USA game. Frings  stopped the shot on the line and nothing was called.

Average goals continued to decline for the third straight competition but there were some amazing strikes (apologies for the awful music). Uruguay produced two great goals, one by Darío Rodríguez  against Denmark and another by Forlan against Senegal. Edmilson hit a half bike against Costa Rica, there was Torrado’s laser against Ecuador, and Japan’s interplay for the single goal against Russia was fantastic. Dynamic free kicks were also on show with Roberto Carlos against China, Raouf Bouzaiene for Tunisia against Belgium, and Johan Walem for Belgium against Russia. The champions produced two wonderful goals, with Ronaldinho torturing Cole before laying off for Rivaldo and their second against Germany in the Final.

YOKOHAMA - JUNE 30: Ronaldo of Brazil lines up before the World Cup Final match between Germany and Brazil played at the International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan on June 30, 2002. Brazil won the match 2-0. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

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Defending champions France were absolutely abysmal, going home with only one point and no goals scored. Brazil made the Final but not before Rivaldo had a shameful dive against Turkey in the Group Stage. Unfortunately Ronaldo unleashed a horrible haircut on the world as well. But one of the lasting memories of the tournament was the noise of the South Korean fans. Watching them support one of the surprise packages of the tournament was a joy. This summary from the Guardian team really captures the highlights (and lowlights) of the tournament.

World Cup 2002 Film

World Cup 2002 Final highlights

Top Five Matches

I came across a post on reddit asking Which five matches changed your life?Loved the question and after thinking about it for a bit, here’s what I came up with:

1996       England v Germany Euro 96

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This game created the template for watching soccer while working. ESPN picked up the rights to this tournament and I fell in love with Croatia, saw Gazza’s wonder goal against Scotland, and the Czech Republic’s heartbreak in the Final against Germany. In the previous round, England played Germany in a rematch of the 1990 World Cup Semi. I was working as a summer intern at the FBI and snuck up to a conference room to watch the second half and penalties. England were so close but after 11 perfect spot kicks, Southgate’s miss condemned the Three Lions to defeat.

1999       Bayern Munich v Manchester United   Champions League Final

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As my love for the Red Devils continued to grow, the Treble season reached its dramatic conclusion in Barcelona. With no Keane or Scholes, United was up against it and when Basler scored in the opening minutes, I didn’t believe. Negative by nature I just waited for Bayern to seal the game and accept defeat. But when Sheringham poked home from close range I screamed with excitement. And when Solskjaer put the ball in the Germans net, I ran around the house in sheer joy.

2002       USA v Portugal   World Cup 2002 Group Stage

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In the days leading up to the game, I had a dream that the US crushed Portugal like 6-0 but I had missed it by sleeping in. Due to the time difference, the game kicked off at 4am ET. On the morning of the game, I drove frantically to a friend’s house who was hosting people. After the early US blitz I thought maybe I had had some sort of premonition but alas, Portugal fought back and made for a nervous last couple of minutes. That tournament was amazing and I got up at all hours to watch the matches.

2009       Real Madrid v FC Barcelona     La Liga

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In the late 90s and early 2000s I start following FC Barcelona and watched a dramatic 2006 Champions League Final against Arsenal. In the years following, that magic team was broken up and rebuilt and taken over by Pep Guardiola who drove the Blaugrana to an unprecedented, at the time, Treble. Real Madrid hunted Barca down in the league and set up a crucial meeting at the Bernabeu, and when Los Merengues scored first, a sick feeling came over me. And then magic happened with Henry and Messi tearing apart the hosts, each scoring twice, and also getting goals from Puyol and Piqué. It was breathtaking and set the stage for Iniesta’s moment of magic at Stamford Bridge and an amazing finish to the season.

2012       Manchester City v QPR     English Premier  League

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The dramatic end to the 1988-89 season was before my time, so when United came back from 0-1 against Spurs in the final league game of 1999 to clinch the title, I didn’t think it could get much better than that. I was wrong. A bunch of fellow fans gathered at Buffalo Wild Wings for Fox’s Survival Sunday, with all ten games on an array of channels. With fans from several different teams present, cheers and groans were constant depending on the action. Eventually we started calling out the TV numbers to keep track of the events. United secured victory at Sunderland and with City down 1-2 against QPR, another league title looked secure. But the fickle finger of fate intervened and Dzeko equalized, setting up Aguero’s moment of glory. Stunned I drank several shots as I watched the celebrations at Etihad. Gutted by the result, it was still one of the greatest soccer community events I have ever experienced.

Let me know what games impacted your soccer support in the comments below.

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Check out more posts on my trips, research and memories on the MatchDay Memories page.

Nigeria Home 2002-2004

After winning their group and defeating Ghana in the Quarter Finals at the 2002 African Cup of Nations, the Super Eagles met Senegal in the Semis. The Lions of Teranga defeated Nigeria 2-1 before falling to Cameroon in the Final, with the Super Eagles recovering to beat the hosts Mail in the Third Place game.  Julius Aghahowa was joint top scorer and made the Team of the Tournament with defenders Taribo West and Ifeanyi Udeze.

Nigeria continued their association with Nike and released a new jersey ahead of the 2002 World Cup in Japan/South Korea, which the Super Eagles had qualified for by winning a very competitive group.

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Nigeria 8 5 1 2 15 3 12 16
 Liberia 8 5 0 3 10 8 2 15
 Sudan 8 4 0 4 8 10 -2 12
 Ghana 8 3 2 3 10 9 1 11
 Sierra Leone 8 1 1 6 2 15 -13 4

 

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Their reward was a tough section featuring Argentina, England and Sweden. The opener against Argentina was played at a very high pace with great technical ability but Los Albicelestes won 1-0. Another defeat came against Sweden which eliminated Festus Onigbinde’s men, and then Nigeria played out a 0-0 draw against the Three Lions to finish last in the group. Notable players from this team were Yobo, Babayaro, Kanu (one of my favorites), West, Okocha, Aghahowa, Utaka, and Enyeama with Yobo and Enyeama still on the team in at Brazil 2014.

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As for the kit, this was the era of the throat patch collar and breathable areas in the rib cage and torso. Distinctive but not one of Nike’s better templates. Wondering through a Nike outlet store there it was, in all its marshmallowy, sherbety, throat patchy glory—the 2002 World Cup home shirt for Nigeria. A steal at less than $30, I picked one up and then . . . never wore it.

Had it been a darker green I probably would have worn it more. Let’s say I have a very conservative fashion sense and it was difficult for me to pull off wearing this shirt either around town or on the pitch. The jersey eventually fell victim to one of my occasional kit purges but for those five minutes in the store, I really thought I had something.

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This post caused me to look at the evolution of the Nigeria shirt. Using the following color chart, it looks like the progression looks something like this: 1998 fern/2002 lime/2006 green/2008 basil/2014 shamrock/emerald. Let me know what you think.

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Read the rest of my Strip Club posts here and follow me on twitter @austinlong1974.

The World is a Ball

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The World is a Ball, John Doyle

John Doyle’s The World is a Ball recaps the journalist’s experiences during the World Cups of 2002, 2006, and 2010 and also the European Championships of 2004 and 2008.  His take on these events is a mixture of match reports, match day atmosphere and personal philosophy, and this point of view created a quite entertaining, informative and thought provoking look back at these tournaments.

Reading the author’s memories of the games made me want to search out the highlights of these matches and tournaments because he was adding an additional layer of context that went beyond the mere result.  While key points of the match were addressed, Doyle shared the build up to the game, the moment of tension, and the hours after, and sometimes elaborated on the impact that echoed days, months and even years after.

He also shared some very personal memories in and around the venues as he interacted with supporters of countries from all over the world.  Despite the possible conflict on the field, fans inevitably shared in the unifying aspects of the game.  Doyle also allowed readers access into the life of a journalist, from the grinding travel schedules to getting credentials to dealing with letting emotion seep into coverage.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable book about the game and, more importantly, the ambiance that is created around major tournaments.  His accounts in the stadiums, amongst the swirling madness on the ground, and en route to and from Canada were enjoyable and made me re-think how I write.