What are your memories of the 2002 World Cup Finals held jointly in Korea and Japan? Beckham’s penalty winner against the Argies? Ronaldinho lobbing Seaman from 40 yards? Senegal beating the holders France in the opening game? The Koreans riding their luck to reach the semis? Oliver Kahn almost single handedly taking a poor german side to the final or Rivaldos cheating antics?!
At the start of 2006 I visited the Seoul World Cup Stadium and its museum in Korea and last month I went to the Japan Football Museum in Ochanomizu where, I did what no Englishman has done since Bobby Moore in 1966. I lifted the World Cup….or at least I would have done had the fake trophy not been stuck to the trophy stand which Brazilian captain Cafu stood on when he lifted the trophy aloft in the 2002 final.
I was captivated by this World cup as I was just back from my world travels and jobless so could watch everything. This tournament further heightened my intent in coming to the land of the rising sun. Its just a shame that I took so long to get my ar*e into gear and get out here once I’d decided that I wanted to see Japan.
Anyway, this nice museum devotes most of its space to those 2002 finals and includes many exhibits and photos including Damien Duff’s Irish shirt and Inamoto’s Japan shirt. Obviously the museum caters predominantly to the Japanese displaying the history of football in the country and also featuring a reproduction of the national teams changing rooms in 2002. The highlight of this place though has to be the ‘Mega Vision’ TV which was like being at the game as you had a panoramic view across the the giant screen enabling you to see the whole pitch from one camera angle. A view that the directors never use with the television coverage.