The FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 is set to to start in Brazil this Saturday, June 15, 2013 with the opening match between Brazil and Japan. The eight teams that will participate in this “mini” tournament are: Brazil, Japan, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Nigeria, Uruguay and Tahiti. Although the tournament is widely regarded as a practice for the host nation leading up to the World Cup, it still provides some high quality soccer. Here are your Top 10 reasons to watch the Confederations Cup 2013:
The tiny island nation qualified to the Confederations Cup 2013 by winning the 2012 Oceania Nations Cup. Tahiti boasts a squad with a single professional player, striker Marama Vahirua. With little to no chance to go through, the Tahitians will simply enjoy the ride and hope not to allow too many goals. This might be the last time we see Tahiti on the soccer world stage, don’t miss it.
9. No Vuvuzelas!
The 2009 Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup were plagued by the infernal noise of the South African vuvuzela. The tournament organizers decided to ban the Brazilian version of the noise-maker, due to “public safety”. Yet another reason to watch this tournament.
The Super Eagles almost gave Tahiti a historic victory… by default. The Nigerian players refused to fly to Brazil due to bonus payments that were owed to them by the Nigerian Federation. In the end, the Nigerians agreed to go to the Confederations Cup, and will be arriving in Brazil on Saturday. It will be interesting to see how the Nigerians adapt to the short rest time.
7. Summer soccer, yay!
The Confederations Cup is the only high level soccer being played around the world (other than the great MLS of course). And with 7 of the 8 nations disputing the Confederations Cup being some of the best in the world, this is a no-brainer, watch it!
6. Goal Line Technology
FIFA will try out the goal line technology that will be used in the World Cup during the Confederations Cup. With just 8 teams participating, this technology might not even have to be used. However, if a play does deem it necessary to be used, it will be interesting to see how the procedure is handled.
5. Brazilian Fans
Brazilian fans are some of the most passionate soccer fans around the world. Brazilians live soccer, they play it on the streets, on the beach, and on the pitch. With the world media focused on them, I’m sure the Brazilian fans will provide a great atmosphere.
4. Mexico and the Chepo dilemma
Other than Brazil, Mexico will be the most pressured team to do well in the Confederations Cup. Mexico has scored just 2 goals in the Hexagonal qualifiers, won just 1 out of 6 matches, and is at risk of missing out on the World Cup. A bad tournament by Mexico would mean Coach Chepo de la Torre will be fired. It will be interesting to see if the players can react to save their coach.
3. The venues
We will get a sneak peak at the stadiums that will host the World Cup. 6 beautiful stadiums will be used in the Confederations Cup, including a renovated Estadio Maracana. Just taking a look at the packed venues should be reason enough to watch this tournament.
This is a the only tournament Spain has not won. 4 years ago, USA stunned the world by defeating a Spanish team that everyone deemed to be invincible. Now, the Spanish team goes back once again, hoping to finish what they started 4 years ago. Furthermore, the Confederations Cup Final might feature Spain vs Brazil, a match of epic proportions that will captivate the soccer world.
1. Brazil’s Infrastructure
A big reason why FIFA has the World Cup host organize the Confederations Cup is to test their infrastructure. It will give Brazil a chance to try out 6 of its stadiums, its road and transportation infrastructure, hotel capacity, security issues, etc (all at a smaller scale than the World Cup, of course). Will Brazil be able to pull this tournament off without a hitch? You’ve got to watch and find out!
Confederations Cup Football Pool