FIFA World Cup 2022: When was the last time a non-European country won a World Cup?

The FIFA World Cup is the pinnacle of success in world football. The majestic tournament has seen many great players become legends over the years. The greatness of honor and pride has inspired many great football nations to participate in the World Cup in its long history that has lasted more than nine decades. With the 2022 edition in Qatar, the excitement continues to mount and fans are as eager as ever.

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However, the FIFA World Cup, a global tournament contested by very strong squads from around the world, has been dominated by the European continent in recent times. A European nation has been crowned World Champions in the last four editions. Leading countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and others have not been able to produce that extra edge at crucial moments in recent times.

2002: The last time a non-European nation was crowned champion

With the World Cup being held every four years, one has to go back more than two decades to see a World Cup that was won by a country outside Europe. 2002 was the year Brazil won their fifth World Cup title and their last to date. The victory was a sweet and memorable one that included many legends in the team and most notably the story of the liberation of Ronaldo, one of the greatest strikers of all time. Held in Japan and South Korea, Brazil won the 2002 FIFA World Cup after defeating Germany 2–0 in the final.

Brazil race to the final

Brazil was drawn in Group C with Turkey, Costa Rica and China. Brazil were the heavy favorites to get out of the group and they did so in an emphatic way. The South American giants won all three of their games, scoring eight goals in the process.

Brazil cleared their first hurdle in the knock-out stages with a 2–0 win over Belgium in the round of 16 thanks to goals from Rivaldo and Ronaldo. The quarter-finals saw one of the most memorable matches of all time between Brazil and England. A superb free-kick by Ronaldinho from long range saw him earn the winning goal of the match. Ronaldo continued his impressive campaign with the only goal of the semi-final against Turkey.

final against germany

The grand tournament concluded in Yokohama, Japan. Apart from the two great nations, a great deal of attention was focused on the fight between Brazil’s Ronaldo and Germany’s goalkeeper Oliver Kahn. Both the players were the best players of their respective teams throughout the tournament. However, as destiny had it it was Ronaldo’s day as he scored a brace and claimed the Golden Shoe. The whole nation was sent into ecstasy as Brazil’s captain, Cafu, lifted the most coveted trophy on the planet.

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