ESPNFC.com is reporting that Brazil and Spain will face-off in the Confederations Cup final on Sunday, June 30, 2013. For those who don’t follow soccer, this match-up is a big deal and it is unfolding in the Maracanã, which is undeniably one of the most legendary football (soccer) stadiums in the world. You have Spain, the world champions competing against Brazil, a nation obsessed with football (soccer) and champions themselves. The New York Times headline about this match screams, “Brazil vs. Spain: Best in World Meets Best in History.”
Fernando Duarte of ESPNFC writes:
“The long absence of a Spain-Brazil rendezvous has made footballing hearts grow fonder. Not only do Brazil and Spain seldom meet — eight times in total, with four Selecao victories and two draws — but the last time was in 1999 when the sporting world couldn’t have been more different.”
European soccer giant Spain beat Italy in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup while Brazil defeated Uruguay 2-1 to ascend to the final match. Italy fought hard without injured star Mario Balotelli and playing in memory of former national team player Stefano Borgonovo who died Thursday from motor neuron disease at the age of 49. Italy came close but was unable to break the Spain’s world record run of 29 undefeated competitive matches. Brazil who disposed of Uruguay convincingly, will have an extra day of rest and a shorter distance to travel in preparation for the final.
Brazil has faced its difficulties too, a young team, still looking for a leader like Ronaldo to take them to the promised land. They may have found what they needed with a combination of Neymar and Paulhino, who rose to the occasion in the match against Uruguay with Paulinho’s goal coming late in the match but sending Brazil to the final. Neymar’s star power is definitely there as evidenced by Hip-Hop mogul turned sports agent Jay-Z’s desire to sign the footballer. Pundits are questioning Brazil’s Zenit forward Hulk’s ability to be a factor in this final, with shoddy play thus far in the tournament.
All eyes will be on this storybook football (soccer) match-up against the backdrop of bus protests that are still in full effect in Brazil. Who do you think will win the final? Let us know in the comments section below. Until then, lets play ball!
Tune in to the following networks to watch the Confederation Cup final which will air Sunday at 6 p.m. EST on ESPN (U.S – English), Univision (U.S. – Spanish), BBC Three (U.K.), Sportsnet World (Canada – English), TLN (Canada – Spanish), Globo (Brazil) and DirecTV Sports. Watch online at ESPN.com.
Read more at ESPNFC.
This post was written by Nsenga K. Burton , Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of the award-winning news site The Burton Wire.