On June 30, 2002, Dietmar Hamann became the first Liverpool player to feature in a World Cup final since England international Roger Hunt in 1966. And he did it in an unfancied German side that was expected to perish rather than prosper at the Korea/Japan Finals.
International Reds: Hamann's World Cup final
Die Mannschaft had been humiliated 5-1 in Munich by England during qualifying and had to come through a play-off with Ukraine to even reach the tournament. But the central midfield pairing of Hamann and Michael Ballack, plus the prolific head and boots of Kaiserslautern striker Miroslav Klose, propelled Rudi Voller's side into the later stages.
Deep-lying destroyer Hamman missed just one game, through suspension, as the German's defied the odds to reach the final in Yokohama. However, midfield partner Ballack, who had scored winners against USA and South Korea, was suspended for the showpiece match against Brazil and the LFC No.16 was pushed further forward into an attacking midfield role.
In unfamiliar territory, Hamann still managed to fire off a few long-range efforts on Marcos' goal against a superior Brazil side, which included Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Rivaldo, but eventually lost 2-0. Nobody expected the Germans to win the final, but then nobody had excepted them to reach it in the first place.