Spain set to break Brazil’s 38 years home invisibility

Brazil’s Coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, reported no injuries following
victory against Uruguay and could name an unchanged side for Sunday’s
Hulk has failed to score in his last nine international matches,
meaning his starting spot could be under threat from Bernard or Lucas
Spanish duo of Roberto Soldado and Cesc Fabregas missed the semi-final against Italy because of minor muscle problems.
However, both players are likely to be available against the Brazilians.
Spain were arguably fortunate to book their place in the
Confederations Cup final, but few neutrals will complain ahead of
Sunday’s mouth-watering Maracana showpiece.
While Italy would have also been worthy opponents for the Selecao, the
Azzurris have already met Brazil twice this year.
Instead, the tournament climax will be what many are calling the
“dream final” – a surprisingly rare clash between Brazil and Spain.
It seems an anomaly that they have met just once in the last 23 years, in a 1999 friendly which ended goalless.
Since then, Spain have taken on and beaten all-comers.
Brazil are the last big scalp left for them to claim, just as the
Confederations Cup is the only senior title to elude them.
Victory against the Brazilians, who have not lost a competitive home
game since 1975, will cement their legacy as one of the greatest sides
It would also exorcise the memories of their 6-1 defeat at the
Maracana 63 years ago, a result that extinguished Spain’s hopes of
winning the 1950 World Cup and remains their heaviest ever defeat at
the tournament.
In addition to home advantage, Brazil will benefit from an additional
day of rest.
Spain’s Coach, Vicente del Bosque, admits the gruelling semi-final
against Italy has left his camp drained.
“Even I am exhausted and I have barely moved, so imagine how the
players must feel,” Bosque said.
However, Del Bosque has refused to criticise the tournament
scheduling. “I’m not looking for excuses… We have 72 hours, others
have a bit more, but we want to put on a good show.”
Spain have kept clean sheets in their last eight knock-out games at
international tournaments, but expect goalkeeper Iker Casillas to be
kept busy.
Brazil may not quite play the “Jogo Bonito” (beautiful game) purists
demand, but with 22 goals in their last eight games, they certainly
possess firepower.
Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is pleased with his side’s Confederations
Cup campaign, but insists they remain a work in progress.
“We achieved our goal of getting to the final and giving the players a
sense of unity and the fans an idea that we have a good team that can
get to the final of the World Cup,” Scolari said.
“This team has to face a lot of difficulties and grow, it needs to
mature in certain situations. The (World Cup-winning) 2002 team was
much more prepared…We are still young, we struggle a little when it’s
a different game.”

Comments (0)
Add Comment