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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

 
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After the nightmare that was Spain’s World Cup 2014, Vicente Del Bosque has rang the changes in his first La Roja squad since they were sent packing from Brazil last June.Fernando Torres, Juan Mata and Gerard Pique have all been dropped for the friendly with France in Paris on September 4, although Del Bosque says the Barcelona defender isn’t quite ready having recently recovered from injury.Raul Garcia and Paco Alcacer come in up front, and should ...
Source: 101 great goals   Full article at: 101 great goals
 

 
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Source: globeandmail   Full article at: globeandmail
 

 
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Aug 29 2014 4:27am CDT | Source: SBNation

Veteran midfielder Xabi Alonso has completed a move from Real Madrid to Bayern Munich. Bayern Munich have confirmed the capture of midfielder Xabi Alonso from Real Madrid for a fee reportedly in the region of £8 million. The 32-year-old former Spanish international moves to the Allianz Arena after five years with the Merengues. DONE DEAL: @XabiAlonso has completed his move to #FCBayern! Contract between FCB ...
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CR7 crowned the player of the year by UEFA... All the latest headlines from the newspapers in Spain as Real Madrid enjoy a special night at the Champions League draw with several former captains taking part.  Image courtesy of Marca. - Masters of Europe. - UEFA proclaims Cristiano the best player in Europe and pays tribute to Madrid for La Decima. - CR7: I like challenges, I hope to help Madrid win everything and give the best of myself. - Iker Casillas: We had been waiting for this ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
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Are Liverpool Making Big Transfer Mistake Signing AC Milan's Mario Balotelli?

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Jese Rodriguez Injury: Latest Updates on Real Madrid Star's Status and Return

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Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
Update
2

2 weeks ago

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 ...
Source: SBNation   Full article at: SBNation
 

 
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1

2 weeks ago

FIFA World Rankings: Latest Standings Among Football's Elite Nations

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 hidden throughout the peck ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 

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