- Title: SOUTH KOREA: GERMAN SQUAD TRAIN AHEAD OF WORLD CUP FINAL
- Date: 27th June 2002
- Summary: MISA-RI, SOUTH KOREA (JUNE 27, 2002) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF GERMAN TEAM WALKING ONTO FIELD VARIOUS OF GERMANS TRAINING GERMAN GOALKEEPER AND CAPTAIN OLIVER KAHN MORE OF TRAINING VARIOUS OF HEAD COACH RUDI VOELLER MORE TRAINING MORE OF KAHN VARIOUS OF TRAINING Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 12th July 2002 13:00
- Location: MISA-RI, SOUTH KOREA
- Country: South Korea
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA9OF63CFGS7GR9UMBD7WN0PHS8
- Story Text: Captain Oliver Kahn says Germany need to play the game of their lives against Brazil in Sunday's World Cup final -- and he is optimistic they will do so to become champions.
Kahn, one of the few who had predicted that Germany could have a great tournament, said on Thursday he could see the triple world champions' revival taking them to their fourth title.
Playmaker Ballack, who has been instrumental in Germany's run to the final, ruled himself out with a second yellow card in Tuesday's 1-0 semi-final victory over South Korea in which he hit the winner. He was earlier booked against Paraguay.
Dietmar Hamann should take over Ballack's duties with Jeremies taking the Liverpool player's usual defensive role at the centre of midfield.
Striker Miroslav Klose, who has scored five goals in the finals, was substituted with bruised ribs in Tuesday's game.
Nine months ago any thoughts Brazil and Germany were having about the World Cup did not involve a possible meeting in the final but whether they would even qualify for the tournament.
In the space of five September days Germany suffered their worst ever qualifying result when they were thrashed 5-1 at home by England while Brazil went down 2-1 to arch-rivals Argentina.
With only a few qualifying games remaining, the two most consistent countries in World Cup history were both in real danger of missing out.
The idea of their absence from the finals seemed inconceivable. Brazil are the only team to have played in every tournament since the first in 1930 while Germany's only absences came in 1930, when they opted not to take part, and 1950 when they were banned by FIFA.
However, it looked even more ominous for Brazil when they suffered a humiliating defeat in November -- 3-1 to Bolivia.
Incredibly it meant they had lost six qualifiers -- after losing just one in all their previous campaigns put together -- and only Colombia's slump kept them in the fight.
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