Pitchside Europe

Match of the Weekend: Brazil v Spain


View gallery


Goalkeeper Iker Casillas admitted that Spain were "lucky" to even reach the final of the Confederations Cup against Brazil, but such has been their dominance on the world stage, they remain favourites.

The two sides have met just once in the last 23 years - in a goalless friendly match back in 1999. But there will be few backers of a result without a goal on Sunday.

Brazil, who have not lost a competitive game at home since 1975, will be left to defend that record against the current world and European champions - a side who have enjoyed incredible international success of late.

Spain were arguably fortunate to book their place in the Confederations Cup final, but this has always been identified as the 'dream final' at the Maracana.

Vicente del Bosque's side have kept clean sheets in their last eight knock-out games at international tournaments, but Brazil will be desperate to break that run in front of their demanding supporters.

Luiz Felipe Scolari has come under attack from sections of the Brazilian press and the fans for some conservative tactics as the returning coach, but he has been pleased with his side's Confederations Cup campaign so far.

"We achieved our goal of getting to the final and giving the players a sense of unity and the fans an idea that we have a good team that can get to the final of the World Cup," Scolari said.

"This team has to face a lot of difficulties and grow, it needs to mature in certain situations. The [World Cup-winning] 2002 team was much more prepared…We are still young, we struggle a little when it's a different game."

Technical coordinator Carlos Alberto Parreira added: "It is now the time to end the era of Spain." Bullish indeed.

Brazil will benefit from an additional day of rest after their semi-final, with Spain having pipped Italy 7-6 on penalties, and Scolari has reported no injuries following his side's win over Uruguay. He is set to name an unchanged line up.

For Spain, Roberto Soldado and Cesc Fabregas missed their side's last-four encounter against the Azzurri because of muscle strains, but both should be fit to play against the hosts.

Brazil v Spain: LIVE - Sunday 30th June, kick-off 23:00

Key match stats

View gallery


Torres v Neymar at the Confederations Cup

View gallery


Stats courtesy of OPTA

View comments (24)