Soccer is the world’s game. Due to its low cost and as a result its accessibility it is played in almost every locale on this globe. The biggest soccer tournament happens every four years and is called the World Cup. The eyes of the world are tuned onto whichever country hosts the World Cup. In 2014 Brazil will be the center of the soccer universe. As a warm-up they are also the hosts of this year’s FIFA Confederations Cup.
The FIFA Confederations Cup began in 1992 and is held every four years like the World Cup. For past couple of Confederations Cup it has been hosted by the country that has been selected to host the World Cup the following year. This tournament gives the eight nations involved some real competition as they usually only have friendlies or World Cup qualification games in between World Cups. The eight teams that participate are the host plus, the reigning World Cup winners and the six nations that won the confederation championships (UEFA, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, CAF, AFC, OFC).
Eight of some of the best teams in the world will be competing in this tournament. The eight teams are divided into two groups – Group A and Group B. Group A is comprised of Brazil, Japan, Mexico and Italy. Group B is comprised of Spain, Uruguay, Tahiti, and Nigeria. The two favourites to win the Cup are the defending Euro and World Cup Champions Spain and the host nation, Brazil. Brazil has the fact that they are playing on their home soil and that they won the last two FIFA Confederations Cups. Though don’t count out the Italian and Mexican sides.
No matter which team you are cheering for you are certain to see some star soccer players work their magic during this tournament. On the Brazil team you will see such familiar faces as defenders Dani Alves and Thiago Silva, midfielder Paulinho and strikers Neymar and Fred. The Spanish roster is comprised of household names like keepers Pepe Reina and Iker Casillas, defenders Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos, midfielders Iniesta and Xavi and strikers David Villas and Fernando Torres. Uruguay features players like strikers Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan. On the Italian side they have quality players such as keeper Gianluigi Buffon, midfielder Andrea Pirlo and striker Mario Balotelli. Finally, Mexico is no slouch with a line-up consisting of keeper Guillermo Ochoa and striker Javier Hernandez.
-Dates: June 15-30, 2013
-Venues: Various soccer stadiums in Brazil