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FIFA Announces World Cup All-Star Team - 2002-06-28


Officials from the International Football Federation, FIFA, have selected a 16-man World Cup all-star team.

FIFA's Technical Study Group chose only players whose teams qualified for the World Cup quarterfinals.

Oliver Kahn of Germany, who has given up only one goal in the tournament heading into Sunday's final against Brazil here in Yokohama, is one of two goalkeepers selected. The other is Rustu Recber of Turkey.

There are five defenders on the all-star team. They are Roberto Carlos of Brazil; Sol Campbell of England; Alpay Ozalan of Turkey; Fernando Hierro of Spain; and Myung-Bo Hong of World Cup co-host South Korea.

There are also five midfielders on the all-star team. They are Claudio Reyna of the United States; Sang-Chul Yoo of South Korea; Michael Ballack of Germany; and Rivaldo and Ronaldinho of Brazil.

Rounding out the selections are four strikers: El Hadji Diouf of Senegal; Hasan Sas of Turkey; Miroslav Klose of Germany; and two-time FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldo of Brazil.

Brazilian great Pele was on hand for the announcement of the all-star team here in Yokohama. He said this has been an exciting and memorable World Cup because of the upsets pulled off by unheralded soccer nations.m "I think it was fantastic, the World Cup. Because we had a lot of new and undeveloped countries show up for the first time. I think this, for the game, is important. I think teams like the United States, South Korea, Japan, Senegal … those countries, they've gotten stronger. It's good for the sport, no doubt," he said.

Pele is a spokesman for Mastercard, which is also an official sponsor of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Mastercard said on behalf of the all-stars selected, it will make a $300,000 donation to UNICEF, the United Nation's children's agency. The executive director of UNICEF, Carol Bellamy, praised some of the World Cup all-stars. "We're also delighted that a number of players, virtually players from all of the teams, have used the opportunity during this World Cup to speak out on behalf of children. And a number of them have made it on to the list of best players," she said.

Before the kick-off of all the World Cup matches, the players have walked onto the pitch (field) holding the hand of a child to symbolize FIFA's partnership with UNICEF.