Brazil vs Spain Final: Preview and Prediction
On June 30th two titans will be playing in the Confederations Cup Championship. Brazil is a young team with many excellent players, but their international standout is Neymar. Spain is filled with world class players playing at every position. La Roja’s players are seasoned in playing big Championship games as they have won the 2008 Euro championship, 2010 World Cup, and 2012 Euro championship. I am very excited to watch these two teams compete because of the very different styles they bring to the table. Watching this young Brazil team, it is obvious their heavy reliance on individual talent explains their style. In the semifinal game Paulinho sent a well passed long ball, a favorite ploy of Brazil, to the attacking Neymar who took it softly on his chest and then attempted glory with a strike which was denied by Uruguay’s goalie Mulsera, but unto no avail because the forward Fred sidekicked the rebound for an easy goal in their 2-1 victory. These type of plays where Brazil puts the ball up in the air and sees what their stars can come up with has been very prevalent within this tournament and makes for very exciting soccer. However unlike Brazil, Spain is a tactical team with precise passing as they usually always come out on top in the statistic of ball possession. Their attention to detail and technique makes play almost lull in the midfield, but as they get close to scoring range the sharp passes of Xavi or Iniesta find the ready feet of a scorer such as Jordi Alba or Cesc Fabregras. Spain’s ability to clamp down defensively, lull opponents in the midfield, then suddenly strike for a goal has been the DNA of these Spanish conquerors.
This tournament has been a wave of emotion for many of the Brazilian players due to the political protesting in their country. It is very apparent that after their national anthem is sung they immediately play with a passion and strength that is fueled by the people in the crowds and streets. The defender David Luiz responded when asked about the protesting, “ Of course we are worried about what is going on. We are Brazilian and we feel for people who are on the streets wishing to be heard and protesting.”
Obviously it takes more than mere nationalistic feeling to beat the likes of Spain. But I believe Brazil will stand in the winner’s circle on Sunday. The Spanish defense held their last two opponents Nigeria and Italy to shutouts, but unconvincingly. Nigeria had several opportunities that they didn’t capitalize on in the first half exposing Spain on fast break chances. Equally Italy had many counterattack chances that did not manifest into goals. Spain’s defense will be exposed on Sunday in the Maracana Stadium and Brazil will shine for a 2-1 overthrow of the world champion Spain.