This year’s edition of the FIFA Confederations cup will for the 4th time in 7 editions unite eight (8) nations from six (6) confederations battle it out for glory when they take to Brazil from June 15 to 30.
Host nation and defending champion, Brazil, would be looking forward to impress home fans as they attempt a repeat of the success they recorded in South Africa in 2009. The five-time World Champions will be relying on the youthfulness of their squad managed by their 2002 World Cup winning coach Louis Felipe Scolari; as they look forward to more silverware for their gallery. The ‘Samba boys’,who will be experiencing their 7th participation in the tournament will play in Group A.
By virtue of their status as World and European Champions, Spain will be banking on their “Golden generation” to clinch a fourth major trophy in five years. “La Hora” will be making their second appearance as favourites after European Football Championship success in 2008 and 2012: crowing with the World cup trophy in 2010.
Spain hopes to join Brazil and France as nations to have won the world cup, nations cup and confederations cup When the competition last took place in South Africa, Spain won Bronze after they beat Bafana Bafana of South Africa in the third place play-off.They will be leading hostilities in Group B.
Italy will for the 2nd time in its rich football history represent the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) at the jamboree as they hope to clinch a first trophy since their World cup triumph in Germany 2006.
They will log horns with Brazil in Group A. “La SquardraAzura” has been invited to the competition by virtue of their runners-up position during the 2012 Euro in Poland and Ukraine.
The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), representative, Mexico, will be recording its 6th participation at the confederations Cup after emerging champions of the 2011 CONCACAF gold Cup. The will attempt an away exploit after the 1997 home triumpth. They will be paired alongside Brazil and Italy in Group A.
Uruguay on itspart, will be representing CONMEBOL,the South American Football Confederation, after winning the Copa America in 2011. The stars of this great generationlike Diego Forlan,Luiz Suarez and Edison Cavaniwill measure football composure in Group B alongside World Champions, Spain.
Japan will be looking to give most teams a tough run as they hope to give the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) a befitting representation at Brazil. The 2011 AFC Asian Cup Winners will be making their 5th appearance at the tournament and will be playing alongside Brazil, Mexico and Italy in Group A.
New comers Tahiti, representatives of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and winners of the 2012 OFC Nations Cup will be eager to prove a point as they take to Brazil. Making their first participation in the tournament, the team considered by many as the underdogs will be hoping to defy and cause a major upset in a tightly contested Group B.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) will be represented by 2013 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Winners, Nigeria, who will be making a comeback to the competition after 15 years of absence, since their last participation in 1997. The Super Eagles under the stewardship of Stephen Keshi, whose qualification was challenged by 2012 AFCON Champions Zambia; claiming they are the rightful African representatives at this year’s edition, will be making only their 2nd participation and will play alongside Spain, Uruguay and Tahiti in a Group B that has been termed by many football pundits “the group of death”. Many expect Keshi’s young-studded side to impress and bring to Africa what will be their first ever Confederations Cup victory, after four times African Champions Cameroon came close in 2003 in France.
The event which kicks-off on June 15th, will give World Football’s governing body, FIFA, another opportunity to run various checks on goal-line technology after it was introduced at the 2012 FIFA Club World Championship. The players and fans will also have a fore-taste of what the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup will look like. For the fourth time FIFA will be using the confederations cup as a preparatory tournament to the world cup.