This commentary from Paul Mirengoff is far better than any I could provide, technically-speaking:
So where does this leave the two sides? Having knocked off both Spain and reigning South American champion Uruguay, Brazil is back. The most important thing is that manager Felipe Scolari now has identified a strong starting 11. Its composition could change some between now and the World Cup, but already Brazil knows it can field a team capable of winning the competition. Before this tournament, Scolari couldn’t be sure.
If there’s a question mark, I think it’s whether Marcelo and David Luiz can display the discipline and positional sense necessary to make Brazil hard to score against. Italy scored twice against Brazil, Uruguay once, and Spain easily could have had two or three today.
I believe that David Luiz is making good progress; I’m less sure about Marcelo.
As for Spain, there’s no need to panic. But Vicente del Bosque does need to identify a central forward who can score against top opposition. The absence of such a player is the one failing in today’s match that, given the persistence of the problem, can’t possibly be attributed to fatigue.
via Brazil is back | Power Line.
Yesterday’s Confed Cup finale was a gem, one of the more enjoyable matches I’ve ever watched. Pitting perennial powerhouse Brazil, on home turf no less, against global dominator (and Cup favorite) Spain, it was fun stuff.
I follow international futbol, less so the various leagues, but Spain has existed as a fountain of dang the last few years. Winners of the ’10 World Cup and boasting the best sides of the god-tier pro leagues, the nation seemed to be leaving everyone else behind.
Yesterday in Brazil, they received their wake-up call. Brazil dominated the match – yes, played in Brazil – but for all the refball the could have been claimed, there were two red cards that could’ve been called contra Spain, and I’m impartial on this one – when I root for a non-USA team, I choose Ireland and Uruguay, who suffered a horrid loss to Italy in the consolation match a few hours earlier.
Many refer to the Confed Cup as a glorified friendly (ie a meaningless match between national teams that amounts to nothing more than a tune-up for both sides) but the intensity of said match vanquished such notions, at least from what I watched. The play was intense, the crowd was riled, and Brazil carried the day, winning 3-0. It wasn’t so much a victory as a statement – Brazil, the behemoth of the futbol world has been on the decline …. well, they’re back.
As I see it right now, four nations stand to win the Cup next year: Germany, Italy, Brazil and Spain. The Germans have a youthful team that made its mark in the ’10 Cup; the Italians, left for dead in ’10 are now resurgent, and then, the Spaniards – the overwhelming favorites – and Brazil, the home team who will forever be among the favorites in any Cup.
FWIW, I can’t wait for the next World Cup. It is my favorite sporting spectacle, and although most Americans refuse its attraction, I do love it so.