Brazil claims Confederations Cup over Spain
July 1, 2013
In the world of international soccer, Spain has been regarded as a reigning nation for the past several years, and still tops the FIFA rankings, which will not be updated until July 4. When they are, it's possible that Brazil will have surged ahead from its current position of #22, as the team deposed Spain in the final game for the FIFA Confederations Cup on June 30 with a 3-0 shutout win, according to The New York Times. Given the reverence with which soccer is treated in Brazil, it's safe to assume that many excited phone calls went out from Brazilians to friends using prepaid phone cards.
The news source reported that young striker Neymar da Silva Santos Junior served as Brazil's primary star of the night, scoring the game's second goal just before halftime in a swift motion that drove the crowd wild. While Neymar's talent had previously been called into question by some, he is now practically a national sports hero.
Ironically, he will be transferring to Spanish team Barcelona FC for the next season, telling the news source that he "hope[s] to adapt very quickly." Yet he saved the most fond words for his home nation, saying of the victory, "I believe that Brazil has shown the world we must be respected."
According to The Guardian, Spain's team made a number of its vulnerabilities known in several recent matches, notably those with Nigeria and Italy. These could be indicative of overall flaw's in the team, and were likely exacerbated by poor player performances even among stars and overall exhaustion. Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos and David Silva were some of the typically superb players who made grievous errors in the Brazil match and in previous games.
The source cites Argentina, Germany, Italy, Holland and Belgium as the only teams besides Spain with any solid hope of beating Brazil in the near future.