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Player Awards
Brazil's Ronaldo won the Golden Shoe Award as the tournament's top scorer with eight goals in seven matches, the highest total at a World Cup tournament since 1970, when West Germany's Gerd Mueller scored 10 in six games.  For the second successive tournament, no England player scored more than two goals, and this time only Michael Owen did it, duplicating his two goals at World Cup 1998 but playing one more game and this time starting all matches.  David Beckham duplicated his single goal at the 1998 tournament by way of a penalty kick.  Two England players joined the World Cup goalscoring ranks, Sol Campbell and Emile Heskey.

World Cup 2002 Leading Goalscorers
Rank Player P Mins G PK
1 Ronaldo, Brazil 7 548 8 0
=2 Miroslaw Klose, Germany 7 561 5 0
Rivaldo, Brazil 7 610 5 1
=4 Christian Vieri, Italy 4 387 4 0
Jon Dahl Tomasson, Denmark 4 360 4 1
=6 Pauleta, Portugal 3 248 3 0
Raúl, Spain 4 340 3 0
Marc Wilmots, Belgium 4 360 3 0
Fernando Morientes, Spain 5 336 3 0
Papa Bouba Diop, Senegal 5 468 3 0
Ilhan Mansiz, Turkey 7 210 3 0
Michael Ballack, Germany 6 540 3 0
Henrik Larsson, Sweden 4 371 3 1
Robbie Keane, Republic of Ireland 4 390 3 1
=15 Thirteen players, including:- - - 2 -
Michael Owen 5 368 2 0
=28 79 players, including:- - - 1 -
Emile Heskey 5 369 1 0
Sol Campbell 5 450 1 0
David Beckham 5 422 1 1

World Cup 2002 Best Players
Rank Player Pos P Mins G PK Votes Vote %
1 Oliver Kahn, Germany G 7 630 3 GA
5 CS
- 147 25
2 Ronaldo, Brazil F 7 548 8 0 126 21
3 Hong Myung Bo, Korea Rep. D 7 596 0 0 108 18
4 Rivaldo, Brazil M 7 610 5 1 93 16
5 Ronaldinho, Brazil M 5 331 2 1 54 9
6 Hasan Sas, Turkey F 6 538 2 0 26 4
7 El Hadji Diouf, Senegal F 5 468 0 0 15 3
8 Roberto Carlos, Brazil D 6 540 1 0 12 2
9 Michael Ballack, Germany M 6 540 3 0 6 1
10 Fernando Hierro, Spain D 4 420 2 2 5 1
        Total     592 100

Germany's Oliver Kahn became the first goalkeeper to win the Golden Ball Award as the best player at the World Cup 2002 final tournament.  Brazil's Ronaldo, second in the voting, won the Silver Ball Award, and  South Korea's Hong Myung Bo, in third place, won the Bronze Ball Award.

The FIFA Technical Study Group nominated a shortlist of 10 players for the Golden Ball Award on 27 June.  No England players were on the list.  The winner was chosen by vote of media representatives attending the third-place and final matches on  29 and 30 June.  It may have been determinative that the media voting was largely conducted before Kahn's bobble led to Brazil's first goal in the final match and before Ronaldo scored his two goals in that match.

The sponsor of the awards, Adidas, presented a new Golden Ball trophy, with a design based on the Adidas ball used at World Cup 1962 in Chile.  The trophy bears the names of the five past winners of the award--Paolo Rossi, Italy, Diego Maradona, Argentina, Toto Schillaci, Italy, Romario, Brazil, and Ronaldo, Brazil--to which the names of later winners will be added.

World Cup 2002 Best Goalkeeper

Kahn was also named winner of the Yashin Award, named after late Soviet Union goalkeeping great Lev Yashin, as the best goalkeeper at World Cup 2002.  The winner was chosen by the FIFA Technical Study Group and announced just before the final match on 30 June.  Kahn conceded just one goal in six matches ahead of the final, to the Republic of Ireland's Robbie Keane during time added on in group play.  In the final, Kahn let in two more goals by Brazil's Ronaldo, the first of which came after he bobbled the ball, but by that time the award already had been made.



Three days ahead of the draw, on 28 November 2001, the Organising Committee announced the method by which it would be conducted.

The Committee decided France, as reigning World Cup champion, and South Korea and Japan, as host nations, would be seeded as three of the top eight teams and assigned them to head Groups A, D and H, respectively.  To determine the other five seeded teams, the Committee used a complex formula to rank all 32 teams on the basis of their performance in the last three World Cup final tournaments and their standing in FIFA's world rankings for the last three years.  The top five teams in this ranking (apart from the already-seeded France, which placed 5th) were Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Germany and Spain, and they joined the other three as seeded teams.  These five teams were placed in Pot 1 for the draw. 

The 11 remaining teams qualifying from UEFA--Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, Republic of Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden and Turkey--were put in Pot 2.  

The remaining three CONMEBOL teams--Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay--and the other two AFC teams--China and Saudi Arabia--were placed in Pot 3.  The Committee granted China's request for assignment to one of the South Korea groups, apparently made because of prohibitive lodging costs in Japan, and at the same time decided Saudi Arabia would be allocated to one of the Japan groups.

The five CAF and three CONCACAF teams--Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, Costa Rica, Mexico and U.S.A.--were put in Pot 4.

Two factors complicated the draw.  One was FIFA's customary principle that "teams from the same confederation shall not be placed in the same group as far as possible," with "[t]he only exception" being that "a maximum of 2 teams from UEFA may be drawn into the same group, due to the higher number of teams from Europe."  The other factor--dual hosts for the first time in the tournament's history--made the draw, always complex, worse than ever, as FIFA Executive Secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen told the worldwide television audience.  The Committee decided that "the co-hosting situation (groups A to D in Korea, groups E to H in Japan) will be taken into account when placing the teams into the respective groups by ensuring that there is a balance of each confederation['s] teams in Korea and Japan."

These two principles determined the procedures the Committee adopted for the draw.  First, the five unassigned seeded teams were selected one by one from Pot 1 and allocated to head Groups B, C, E, F and G in order while ensuring that one CONMEBOL team would be assigned to South Korea and one to Japan.  Second, as each unseeded team was drawn from Pots 2, 3 and 4 and assigned to a group, its position in the group (2, 3 or 4) was also determined by draw.  Third, eight UEFA teams were drawn from Pot 2 and assigned to Groups A to H in order.  Fourth, the remaining three UEFA teams were drawn and assigned to groups not already containing two UEFA teams by virtue of a parallel draw from Special Pot i, which contained the four seeded non-UEFA teams.  Fifth, the five teams from Pot 3 were drawn and assigned to the other five groups while ensuring that at least one CONMEBOL and one AFC team were allocated to both South Korea and Japan.  Sixth, the teams from Pot 4 were drawn and assigned to groups A to H in order while ensuring that at least two CAF teams and one CONCACAF team were allocated to both South Korea and Japan.

The draw produced the following groups:

Groups in Korea
Group A Group B Group C Group D
A1 France B1 Spain C1 Brazil D1 Korea Republic
A2 Senegal B2 Slovenia C2 Turkey D2 Poland
A3 Uruguay B3 Paraguay C3 China D3 USA
A4 Denmark B4 South Africa C4 Costa Rica D4 Portugal
Groups in Japan
Group E Group F Group G Group H
E1 Germany F1 Argentina G1 Italy H1 Japan
E2 Saudi Arabia F2 Nigeria G2 Ecuador H2 Belgium
E3 Republic of Ireland F3 England G3 Croatia H3 Russia
E4 Cameroon F4 Sweden G4 Mexico H4 Tunisia


England placed 8th in the Organising Committee's special World Cup team ranking, just below Mexico and two rungs below Spain, the lowest seeded team, but far above the two seeded host nations South Korea, 25th, and Japan, 26th.  Only because the host nations were seeded did England fail to gain seeded status.  Seeding host nations above teams ranking much higher on the basis of performance is, of course, a highly dubious practice, since there are other methods available to assure host nations play at particular venues.  It is a practice that may cost England dearly in this tournament.

The assignment of England to Group F, which already contained Argentina from seeded Pot 1 and Sweden from UEFA Pot 2, drew the only collective gasp of the evening from the live audience.  Not only would Sven-Göran Eriksson lead England against his native Sweden on the group's opening match day, but England would renew their often bitter World Cup rivalry with Argentina.  

Nigeria from Pot 4 completed the Group F.  The media promptly tagged it the proverbial "Group of Death," and the bookmakers' odds on England winning the World Cup immediately plummeted from 7 or 8 to 1 to 1 to 10 to 1.

Group F is, indeed, formidable.  It is, in fact, by far the most difficult group in the tournament.   Argentina, 2nd in both FIFA's world rankings and the Organising Committee's World Cup ranking and the bookmakers' favourite to win the tournament, dominated the single qualifying group for South American teams.  Sweden, 16th in the world rankings and 13th in the World Cup ranking, finished with the best qualifying record of any European team.  Nigeria, only 40th in the world rankings but 18th in the World Cup ranking, has World Cup experience and can hardly be dismissed as a threat.

England will have no time to settle in when play begins.  In the supercharged pressure of the World Cup finals, that may prove an insurmountable difficulty for a team that is young and inexperienced in key positions.

Two of the three teams in the group have proven particularly difficult for England in recent meetings.  England have not beaten Sweden in nine matches since their last win in 1968, at Wembley, and they have lost three of those nine, including the group match that put them out of the European Championship 1992 final tournament in Sweden and the opening match in their European Championship 2000 qualifying campaign.   

Nor have England beaten Argentina in four matches since their last victory in 1980 at Wembley.  Although Argentina won only one of these four, the World Cup 1986 quarterfinal in ciudad de México when they benefitted from Diego Mardona's "Hand of God" goal, they also put England out of World Cup 1998 on penalty kicks following the celebrated 2-2 extra-time draw in which David Beckham was shown the red card.

England have little experience with Nigeria.  They met once, in a friendly at Wembley in late 1994, when England managed to win, 1-0.  But Nigeria are capable of the kind of football with which South American teams have often troubled England.

Even more foreboding are the prospects for teams advancing from Group F.  In the tournament's second stage, the round of 16 teams, the winner of Group F will face the second-place team from Group A, and the second-place team from Group F will meet the winner of Group A.  Among the teams in Group A, of course, is reigning World Cup and European champion France.  Even if France are overcome, the quarterfinal opponent will likely be Brazil.