Monday, June 17, 2013

Soccer fever: Brazil's Confederations Cup is on

Posted By on Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 4:22 PM

The Confederations Cup, which every four years unite the continental soccer champions one year prior to the World Cup, started in Brazil on Friday with an easy victory by the host team 3-0 over Asia champion Japan.

On Sunday, Italy beat Mexico 2-1 thanks to a late goal by Mario Ballotelli, who dedicated the goal to rapper Drake, a personal friend.

“this gol is for my bro @Drake !!! STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM NOW WE HERE!!” wrote Ballotelli, whatever the hell that means. (Italy, as European runner-up, was invited to the tournament since Spain is both World and European champion).

Finally, my beloved team Uruguay (South American champion, even though struggling in 2014 World Cup qualification matches) got their asses kicked by the world’s best team: World and European champion Spain. The Spaniards didn’t score more goals because they didn’t want to, but they almost paid for it: Liverpool’s Luis Suárez scored a superb free-kick with three minutes left and the red team ended the game begging the ref to blow the final whistle.

Earlier on Sunday, African champion Nigeria crushed Tahiti (Oceania champion) by a score of 6-1.

The tournament continues June 19 with Brazil-Mexico and Italy-Japan, and June 20 with Spain-Tahiti and Nigeria-Uruguay.

The first two teams advance to the semifinals, and the final will be held at Maracaná stadium (the world’s largest soccer stadium) on June 30. Only a miracle would stop Spain from reaching the final against (probably) Brazil, but this is soccer and anything can happen. Unless, of course, you’re playing against Spain. In which case, you’re fucked.

Spain, Italy and Uruguay (all World and Olympic champions) are the only teams with a chance to become the third ever to win the "triple crown" (World, Olympic, and Confederations Cup) after Argentina and France. But do they really want it? No team ever went on to win the following year's World Cup after winning the Confederations Cup.

click to enlarge confederationjpg

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