Spain's coach Vicente Del Bosque talks to Fernando Torres (9) before the start of extra-time of their Confederations Cup semi-final soccer match against Italy at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza June 27, 2013. (Photo : REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci (BRAZIL - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) )
It was the match everyone wanted: Spain vs. Brazil. The greatest team of this generation facing off against the country with the most World Cup's and the richest history in the sport. While the tournament is not the World Cup, there is no denying that the entire world will be watching when the defending World Cup champions take on the host nation Brazil in the final on Sunday.
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"I think everybody was waiting for this Confederations Cup final to be Spain vs. Brazil," Spain captain Iker Casillas said after his team defeated Italy. "I think the two teams that deserve to play the final are actually playing it."
"It will be a special match for the Brazilians, and also for the Spanish team to play in the Maracana," he added. "This is something very enticing and it whets our appetite."
"We have to now consider what we have to do in the three days to recover. And we will definitely stand up to Brazil in the Maracana," Spanish manager Vicente Del Bosque noted. "The players should feel just as happy as kids playing in the Maracana. They have won a lot, but they want to win in the Maracana.
The Spaniards enter the matchup with some of their weakest displays in years. The team gave the Italians a tremendous amount of possession and was victimized on a number of defensive mistakes. However, Spain managed to keep the ball out of the net and won in the penalty kicks.
Now La Roja will take on a Brazilian squad that does not waste goal scoring opportunities. Brazil's Neymar has three goals and has been the best player in the tournament; he will get a chance to take down his future Barcelona teammates on Sunday.
"They play well and beautifully, so of course we would like to see them in the final. But they still have Italy, which is a strong team ahead," Neymar said of Spain prior to their match against Italy.
Prediction: Spain manages a 2-1 victory against Brazil.
Start Time: 6 PM EST
TV: ESPN, Univision