Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Confederations Cup: Can the real thing match its dress rehearsal?


I don’t know if Brazil’s rout of Spain means there will be a shift in the balance of power, but one thing seems pretty certain: If the Confederations Cup was a taste of things to come, we should have a delicious World Cup in a year’s time.

Wildly entertaining in all aspects, the eight-nation tournament, seen as an acid test for the world’s biggest soccer event, produced all the thrills a fan could ask for and was capped by a memorable final in which the reigning world and double European champions were outplayed like never before in recent history.

That came after a pair of pulsating semi-finals, an exciting third-place match and several group stage classics, notably Brazil’s 4-2 win over Italy which followed the latter’s 4-3 defeat of Japan.

And lest we forget Tahiti, last year’s surprise Oceania champions, who never lost their enthusiasm, the smiles on their faces or the respect of their much stronger opponents despite conceding an avalanche of goals.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Will God be Brazilian in 2014?

SOCCER-LATAM/"God is Brazilian" is a favourite phrase for Brazilians when fortune smiles on their country.

Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva famously uttered it after massive new oil reserves were discovered off the coast in 2007.