When the Confederations Cup Final takes place at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Sunday June 30 you’ve basically got the best team in the world at the moment in world and European champions Spain against the best footballing nation in history in Brazil. It’s a dream matchup for many fans as both teams are undefeated in the tournament this year. In fact, they’ve both won all four of their matches.
Sportsbook William Hill has the latest odds of a Brazil win at 17/10 with a Spain victory at 19/10 and a draw at 19/10.
Brazil headed up Group A with a 3-0 win over Japan followed by a 2-0 win over Mexico and a 4-2 victory over Italy in the group stage. They then went on to squeak past Uruguay 2-1 in the semifinal to reach the final on Sunday. Spain topped Group B by beating Uruguay 2-1, Tahiti 10-0 and Nigeria 3-0 in the round-robin group action. They then managed to just get past Italy 7-6 in a penalty shootout after playing to a 0-0 draw over 120 minutes.
A lot of supporters predicted a Brazil vs Spain final and they’ve got it. A strong argument could be made that Spain had the easier route to the final, and it’s true. They’ll be up against a determined host nation at the Maracana and will be trying to exploit Brazil’s weaker defence. However, it could be said that Spain has made it to the final by playing below their usual best while Brazil has actually exceeded expectations in their team play.
The shining star for Brazil so far has been the 21-year-old Neymar, who recently signed a contract with Spanish giants Barcelona. The young forward has been scoring and setting up goals, but has also showed an immature side to his character by diving all over the pitch whenever there’s the slightest contact. As far as Spain goes, nobody has really stood out above the rest. Chelsea striker Fernando Torres is finally putting the ball in the net, but that’s not hard to do when you play Tahiti. Four of his five foals came against the minnows. Fred and Neymar each have three for Brazil while David Villa also has three for Spain.
Spain has now gone 29 competitive matches without losing. However, they were beaten in a friendly in November of 2011 when England edged tem at Wembley 1-0. That was the last time they lost a game though. Their last defeat in a competitive contest came 1-0 at the hands of Switzerland back at the South African World Cup in 2010.
Brazil is going for their third straight Confederations Cup championship and haven’t really been threatened so far in the tournament. Goaltender Julio Cesar has been playing quite well and made a huge save in the semifinal against Uruguay on a Luis Suarez penalty kick. Some fans feel they were lucky to score the winner in the 86th minute, but Brazil has scored several late goals in this year’s event. Brazil has jumped out to the lead in all four of their games and have scored goals in all eight halves of football they’ve played.
Brazil has the home-pitch advantage of course with thousands of fans behind them. They also had an extra day to recover from the semifinals since they played on Wednesday and Spain played on Thursday. Of course, Spain also had to play extra time and a penalty shootout. This points to a Brazil win, but Spain always find a way to come out on top. Look for an entertaining game with both teams scoring at least once. Don’t be surprised if it goes to extra time or even penalties, with Spain coming out on top.