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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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The transfer window, just like every other area of football, is black and white. It is consists of those who got a bargain and others who were ripped off, with nothing in between. Like everything else, it is composed of winners and losers, with no room for nuance. Except maybe that’s not always true. As La Liga opened this weekend, and a new-look Barcelona negotiated a few bumps in the road to finally co ...
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Alberto Moreno completes Liverpool move

Aug 16 2014 12:33pm CDT | Source: SBNation

Liverpool have completed the signing of Sevilla's young left-back Alberto Moreno. Liverpool have confirmed the signing of Sevilla defender Alberto Moreno for a reported £12 million. The Spanish international has signed a long-term deal at Anfield, and departs his boyhood club for the first time. He'll no doubt be looking to break into the first team immediately, with Brendan Rodgers' side having been perilously short ...
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Aug 14 2014 4:25am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Germany have maintained their lead atop the FIFA World Rankings during the Aug. 14 update, as little post-World Cup activity ensures a familiar-looking top 25. A handful of teams have swapped positions during the intermission, notably a small rise for Spain, but most of the dramatic changes come further down the rankings table. Here's a look at the elite, followed by some of the more eye-catching switches hid ...
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5

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Alberto Moreno to Liverpool: Latest Transfer Details, Reaction and More

Aug 12 2014 5:09pm CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Liverpool have completed the signing of Spanish left-back Alberto Moreno from Sevilla, according to the team's official Twitter account: Moreno was initially a part of Vicente del Bosque's plans for this summer's World Cup but failed to make the final 23-man squad, giving the Reds an opening to complete their purchase. The youngster becomes Liverpool's fifth major signing of the summer, joining Adam Lallana, ...
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4

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Xavi Hernandez – Spain’s Greatest Ever Midfielder

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3

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Marca pay tribute to one of Spain’s all-time greats: “Xavi hangs up his boots” [Picture]

Aug 5 2014 6:40pm CDT | Source: 101 great goals

It was a sad day for Spanish football when Xavi Hernandez confirmed that he had called time on his international career and retired from Spain duty. The Barcelona maestro had been integral to the Spain side that conquered all before them in a four year period from 2008 to 2012. When Vicente del Bosque’s team crumbled at the World Cup in Brazil it felt like the end of an era in more ways than one and it seemed like even then we knew we’d ...
Source: 101 great goals   Full article at: 101 great goals
 

 
Update
2

3 weeks ago

Spain Coach Vicente del Bosque Hails Xavi Contribution

Aug 5 2014 8:27am CDT | Source: insidefutbol

Spain national team manager Vicente del Bosque has termed former Spain midfielder Xavi a 'unique player ...
Source: insidefutbol   Full article at: insidefutbol
 

 
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1

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Jesus Navas Faces Battle to Establish Himself in Manchester City Starting XI

Jul 18 2014 8:00am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

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