20 years ago, Japan took its place in the spotlight of global football.
The 2002 FIFA World Cup came to our shores and the best players on earth battled for the most famous trophy in the sport in J.League stadia.
At the end of the month-long festival of football co-hosted with South Korea, it all reached the summit at Nissan Stadium when Brazil and Germany went toe-to-toe in the final.
The home of Yokohama F·Marinos welcomed these teams, over 69,000 fans, and hundreds of millions more on television screens worldwide to its beautiful environs as Ronaldo starred and made his case as one of the best strikers ever.
The Brazilian scored two second half goals, his seventh and eighth of the tournament, to win him Golden Boot and secure the Seleção Canarinho's fifth World Cup, while Oliver Kahn in the German net took home Golden Ball honors after a set of heroic performances.
It was fitting to see Ronaldo and Co. reign supreme in Yokohama, with Marinos having a long and proud history of Brazilian excellence. This is a club that has long danced with joga bonito at its core, including last year's champions, who were led by the likes of Anderson Lopes, Léo Ceará, Eduardo, Élber, and Marcos Júnior, who won J.League Top Scorer in 2019.
Whenever any of them take the pitch at Nissan Stadium, they will surely remember that famous day in 2002 when Cafu lifted the world's most famous trophy right there in Yokohama.