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Euphoric return for triumphant Brazil

Top goalscorer Ronaldo lifts the World Cup
Top goalscorer Ronaldo lifts the World Cup  


BRASILIA, Brazil, (Reuters) -- Brazil's victorious World Cup team have arrived back home to a rapturous welcome.

The team's official plane landed in the capital on Tuesday after being escorted by four fighter jets.

The team were greeted by thousands of fans who exploded into shrieks of delight as the soccer stars disembarked.

Dressed head-to-toe in the green and yellow of the national flag, fans jostled to get a glimpse of the World Cup champions as the beaming players emerged from a chartered plane after flying half way across the globe from Japan.

Their arrival back home came after three days of celebrations in Brazil. (Full story)

Their plane, with Brazilian soccer players painted on the sides, circled the clear blue sky above the futuristic capital several times before landing.

Team captain Cafu and coach Luiz Felipe Scolari leaned out of the cockpit windows, waving Brazilian flags, as the plane taxied to the terminal.

Cafu stepped off the plane, raising the World Cup trophy in the air, as horns and hooters blasted and a brass band played.

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After beating Germany 2-0 in Sunday's final, Brazil became the only country in the world to win the World Cup five times. (Final)

Fans lined the highways, hoping to catch a glimpse of the players on their way to the presidential palace, where President Fernando Henrique Cardoso would receive them.

Thousands of fans descended on the huge square in front of the palace, where 4,000 police officers were stationed.

It was a triumphant homecoming for the team and for coach Scolari, or "Big Phil," after being ripped apart by the national media before the championship and virtually written off after struggling to qualify.

Instead, they returned to the jubilant South American nation as World Cup record breakers.

Ronaldo ended the tournament as top striker with eight goals, equalling a Brazilian record of 12 goals at World Cup finals set by soccer hero Pele.

He scored two goals past German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, who won the Golden Ball award for best World Cup player and also was named the best keeper. (Full story)

Ronaldo's name was splashed across giant banners lining the sun-blazed streets of Brasilia and bouncing fans clamoured for a wave or a wink from the man they call "the phenomenon."

Brazil won the 1958, 1962, 1970 and 1994 cups had never before met Germany in a finals tournament.

Copyright 2002 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.





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