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FIFA Confederations Cup, Group B preview
Photo Credit: PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU, Getty Images

FIFA Confederations Cup, Group B preview

Jun 10 2013, 4:48am CDT | by

Rio de Janeiro, June 10 (IANS) Spain and Uruguay raise the Group B curtain at Recife's Arena Pernambuco Sunday in a fixture laden with European-based stars. The less-fancied Tahiti and Nigeria open their campaign the following day at Belo Horizonte's Mineirao.

Rio de Janeiro, June 10 — Spain and Uruguay raise the Group B curtain at Recife's Arena Pernambuco Sunday in a fixture laden with European-based stars. The less-fancied Tahiti and Nigeria open their...

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1 year ago

FIFA Confederations Cup, Group B preview

Jun 10 2013, 4:48am CDT | by

Rio de Janeiro, June 10 (IANS) Spain and Uruguay raise the Group B curtain at Recife's Arena Pernambuco Sunday in a fixture laden with European-based stars. The less-fancied Tahiti and Nigeria open their campaign the following day at Belo Horizonte's Mineirao.

Rio de Janeiro, June 10 — Spain and Uruguay raise the Group B curtain at Recife's Arena Pernambuco Sunday in a fixture laden with European-based stars. The less-fancied Tahiti and Nigeria open their campaign the following day at Belo Horizonte's Mineirao.

Perhaps this is not the most evenly-matched group in Confederations Cup history, but players of the ilk of Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Luis Suarez and John Obi Mikel ensure it won't be short of quality, reports Xinhua.

Spain:

La Roja have won just about every accolade possible over the past five years but this is the one trophy to elude Vicente del Bosque's team.

The reigning world and European champions finished third in their only previous Confederations Cup appearance in 2009 and Del Bosque says the competition will be taken seriously.

"There are four world champions but also three other teams that deserve a lot of respect: Japan, the Olympic champions Mexico and Nigeria, who won the African Cup of Nations," Del Bosque said. "There is also Tahiti, which is a little bit of an unknown entity for us."

As expected, Barcelona and Real Madrid have provided the bulk of the squad with 13 of the 26 players named by Del Bosque.

The 62-year-old coach has recalled striker Fernando Torres after the 29-year-old scored an impressive 23 goals for Chelsea in 2012-13 while Bayern Munich midfielder Javi Martinez also returns. Both players were overlooked for Spain's World Cup qualifiers against France and Finland in March.

Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso will miss the tournament after undergoing surgery on an injured groin.

Uruguay:

The two-time World Cup winners have been in steady decline since winning the 2011 Copa America tournament in Argentina.

La Celeste are in danger of missing the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after managing just two points from their past six South American qualifiers and slumping to seventh, three spots below the automatic qualification cut-off.

A 1-0 victory over France in Montevideo last week was the team's first against Les Bleus since 1966 and went some way to placating concerns about Tabarez's team.

Uruguay's strength in recent years has been their attack and this tournament will be no exception.

Tabarez will have the luxury of choosing between Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Edinson Cavani (Napoli), Diego Forlan (Internacional) and Abel Hernandez (Palermo) to front his team.

Juventus defender Martin Caceres has been included after a car accident forced him out of two World Cup qualifiers in March.

Nigeria:

The Super Eagles have experienced something of a renaissance in the past two years under manager Stephen Keshi.

Having achieved an all-time high world ranking of fifth in 1994, Nigeria missed the 2006 World Cup in Germany and failed to progress beyond the group stage in South Africa four years later.

But Keshi's men reinforced their resurgence as a regional force by winning the 2013 African Cup of Nations in February with a 1-0 victory over Burkina Faso in the final.

They are also well-placed in their quest for a 2014 World Cup berth, heading Africa's Group F with eight points from four matches in the second round of qualifiers.

Nigeria's Confederations Cup squad includes Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel as well as Maccabi Tel Aviv goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama. The team will be without Mikel's Blues teammate Victor Moses and former Almeria midfielder Kalu Uche due to injury.

Tahiti:

The tiny Pacific island-nation earned a ticket to Brazil with a 1-0 victory over New Caledonia in the 2012 Oceania Nations Cup.

Steevy Chong Hue struck the winning goal and became a national hero overnight in a country renowned more for its idyllic beaches than football.

Tahiti's side is made up mostly of amateurs but coach Eddy Etaeta has insisted the team will be no walkovers for their Confederations Cup rivals.

Etaeta might draw encouragement from the fact Oceania provided a finalist for the 1997 tournament when Australia reached the decider against Brazil.

IANS

Source: IANS

 
Update
11

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Manchester United midfielder, Ander Herrera was expected to be named to Vicente Del Bosque’s squad on Friday afternoon, but a cracked rib suffered in last weekend’s win over West Ham United has ruled the creative playmaker out of action throughout the international break, forcing him to miss out on what could’ve been his first call-up. Herrera […] ...
Source: inside spanish football   Full article at: inside spanish football
 

 
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Sep 15 2014 2:16am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Arsenal are reportedly positioning themselves to make a January move for Valencia star Paco Alcacer, and while the striker position isn't a major need for the Gunners, the young Spain international offers too much upside to pass up the chance to sign him. According to the Daily Mirror's Tom Hopkinson (for the Sunday People), the 21-year-old is yet to sign his current club's contract extension tha ...
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Arsenal & Chelsea To Lock Horns Over Signing Of £15m Free-Scoring Spanish Youngster

Sep 15 2014 1:28am CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

Gunners & Blues chasing in-form La Liga striker.Arsenal and Chelsea could be set for a £15m January transfer battle for the signing of in-form Valencia striker Paco Alcacer, according to the Daily Mirror. SEE ALSO: Marco Reus Arsenal - Real eye Gunners target Neymar's girlfriend situation: hot gallery of stunning old flame Gabriella Lenzi SEE ALSO: (Images) Kelly Brook designs & models new clothing r ...
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Lionel Messi Will Reach Milestone If He Wins Battle with Athletic Bilbao Defence

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Update
4

3 weeks ago

(Images) Gerard Pique Watches Basketball Game With Pregnant Shakira After Spain Snub

Sep 10 2014 5:16am CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

Barca star and pop babe have fun courtside.Barcelona defender Gerard Pique found himself left out of Vicente del Bosque’s Spain squad for the recent Euro 2016 qualifier against Macedonia.Instead of getting down, Pique used the extra time off to take his pregnant wife Shakira to a basketball game.Images courtesy of the Daily Mail.SEE ALSO: Top Teenagers In World Football. Best Football Managers Right Now. (Video) Brilliant Gareth Bale Free Kick.SEE MORE: Top 40 hottest ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
Update
3

3 weeks ago

Arsenal To Rival Chelsea For Spain’s New Striking Hero

Sep 10 2014 12:40am CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

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Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
Update
2

3 weeks ago

Munir El Haddadi, Seung-Woo Lee Prove La Masia Still Producing for Barcelona

Sep 9 2014 5:28am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Munir El Haddadi and Seung-Woo Lee both made an impact on world football this week and Barcelona will be delighted with the work of their La Masia stars. Even though Barcelona are currently banned from making transfers because of their hiring practices, the fabled youth academy continues to produce top talents. If there is a gap which needs to be filled between now and 2016, when they can buy players again, there usually is someone who can step up from Barcelona B to save the day. ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
Update
1

3 weeks ago

Vicente del Bosque Urges Spain to Reclaim Lost Aura After Thumping Macedonia

Sep 9 2014 5:09am CDT | Source: insidefutbol

Vicente del Bosque wants Spain to reclaim their lost aura by playing “good football”, following La Roja's 5-1 win ov ...
Source: insidefutbol   Full article at: insidefutbol
 

 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/8" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
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