The 2002 FIFA World Cup was an international tournament held in China in June and July of 2002 at venues at twelve stadiums in twelve cities. Though it was not the most-attended World Cup in history, it was the most-watched.

The tournament was known for the number of surprise teams that advanced further than normal, particularly non-traditional football powers. Host China advanced to the quarterfinals after never having advanced that far in history, and both the United States and Confederate States, neither a premier footballing country, advanced as well after upsetting established powerhouses Mexico and Brazil, respectively. Russia and Korea were the surprises of the tournament, both advancing to the semifinals, though they were relegated to the third-place game after losses to Germany and Argentina, respectively. Germany would defeat Argentina for the first time in a World Cup match to avenge late losses in 1986 and 1994 to the Albiceleste and thus also earned their third-ever World Cup championship.

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