For the past five years, Spain have been the unstoppable force in the footballing world, conquering the European championships in 2008 and 2012 and the World Cup in 2010. The question on everyone’s lips heading into the Confederations cup in Brazil this summer is who can end this somewhat Spanish rule?
One of those teams will be the hosts, Brazil. Having not played much competitive football of late, the team have fallen down the FIFA world rankings- however this isn’t a team to rule out of any competition, with young talent like Neymar and Lucas and more experienced leaders in Luis Fabino and Julio Caesar, the team has a good mix of players. The captain, Thiago Silva, is a leader and still young. Playing in the PSG side that won their domestic league last season only adds to his experience and leadership ability.
Another side to watch out for is Italy. Since their embarrassing attempts to defend the World Cup (that they won in Germany in 2006) in South Africa 3 years ago, the side has regrouped and reformed under the management of Cesare Prandelli. They were surprising finalists at the European Championships last summer and with players like Mario Ballotelli the Italians can certainly turn up and win this competition.
Uruguay are another team that have been successful of late, Semi finalists at the World cup followed by a Copa America triumph a year later, the south Americans will be trying to win the competition for the first time. The destructive strike force that this side has (Edison Cavani, Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez) will be a handful for any defence and they could lead this side to further glory in Brazil this summer.
Obviously to win this competition, the three above nations as well as the other 4 competing nations (Japan, Tahiti, Mexico and Nigeria) must beat Spain. The team have steamrolled their way to win three of the last four competitions they have entered (they didn’t win the Confederations cup in 2009). The Spanish squad is strong throughout, as many of the players could make the starting eleven in any other national side, and the other competitors must play to the best of their ability to knock this powerhouse off the top of the footballing ladder.