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WORLD CUP FINAL PREVIEW: Brazil vs. Germany
June 29th, 2002 9:12PM

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June 30 in Yokohama at 7 am ET Final: BRAZIL vs. GERMANY (TV: Live, ABC, Univision, 7 am ET; Tape, Telefutura, noon ET/PT, 11 am CT/MT, ABC, 12:30 pm ET, Galavision, 7:30 pm ET/PT) Brazil meets Germany in the 2002 World Cup final. It's a record seventh final for both teams -- Brazil has won four titles, Germany three. Amazingly, they've never met in the World Cup (Brazil beat East Germany, 1-0, in 1974). Brazil is the heavy favorite, having defeated its six opponents by a margin of 16-4, but it hasn't faced a goalie as good as Germany's Oliver Kahn. Kahn has allowed only one goal in six games and hasn't been beaten in 360 minutes. The Germans have scored 14 goals in their five wins and one tie at this World Cup. Brazil will welcome back Ronaldinho, who was suspended for the semifinal against Turkey. On the other hand, Germany will be missing Michael Ballack, who had the winning goals against the United States and South Korea. Ballack is suspended after picking up his second yellow card of the knockout phase in the 1-0 win over South Korea. Keys to victory? On the Brazil side: Defensive midfielders, Gilberto Silva and Kleberson, must withstand the physical presence of the five-man German midfield. Outside backs Cafu and Carlos Roberto must get behind the German backline to open up space for Ronaldinho, Rivaldo and Ronaldo. On Germany side: The back three of Thomas Linke, Carsten Ramelow and Christoph Metzelder can't given Ronaldinho, Rivaldo and Ronaldo space to fire on goal. Without Ballack, the Germans must find a goalscorer. Miroslav Klose, who had five goals in the first three games, is scoreless in the knockout phase. Swiss product Oliver Neuville may be Germany's best answer. PAST WORLD CUP MEETINGS: None. (Brazil beat East Germany, 1-0, in 1974.) TALE OF THE TAPE: Average height: Brazil -- 5-11; Germany -- 6-1. Average weight: Brazil -- 160 pounds; Germany -- 178 pounds. Average age: Brazil -- 26.4; Germany -- 27.7. ROSTERS: Brazil 1 MARCOS, 2 CAFU, 3 LUCIO, 4 ROQUE JUNIOR, 5 EDMILSON, 6 ROBERTO CARLOS, 7 RICARDINHO, 8 GILBERTO SILVA, 9 RONALDO, 10 RIVALDO, 11 RONALDINHO (suspended), 12 DIDA, 13 BELLETTI, 14 ANDERSON POLGA, 15 KLEBERSON, 16 JUNIOR, 17 DENILSON, 18 VAMPETA, 19 JUNINHO PAULISTA, 20 EDILSON, 21 LUIZAO, 22 ROGERIO CENI, 23 KAKA. Germany 1 KAHN Oliver, 2 LINKE Thomas, 3 REHMER Marko, 4 BAUMANN Frank, 5 RAMELOW Carsten, 6 ZIEGE Christian, 7 NEUVILLE Oliver, 8 HAMANN Dietmar, 9 JANCKER Carsten, 10 RICKEN Lars, 11 KLOSE Miroslav, 12 LEHMANN Jens, 13 BALLACK Michael (suspended), 14 ASAMOAH Gerald, 15 KEHL Sebastian, 16 JEREMIES Jens, 17 BODE Marco, 18 BOEHME Joerg, 19 SCHNEIDER Bernd, 20 BIERHOFF Oliver, 21 METZELDER Christoph, 22 FRINGS Torsten, 23 BUTT Hans-Joerg. REFEREE: Pierluigi Collina (Italy). QUOTABLE: ''They are probably the best team in the world in terms of individual players with exceptional people in every position.'' -- Germany keeper Oliver Kahn on Brazil. ''If the best team always won the World Cup, Brazil would have won it 14 teams, not just four.'' -- Germany coach Rudi Voeller.


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