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June 8, 2009


Anytime I hear the word – “confederation”, I’d immediately picture General Robert E. Lee flying the confederate flag high at the American Civil War or even the car from The Dukes of Hazzard. But with the World Cup just a year away (my balls are shaking profusely with excitement just thinking about it), confederation can only mean one thing – the FIFA Confederations Cup. Just like most of the continental tournaments, it is currently held every four year – one year before the WC and lucky for us it will be starting this Sunday, 14th June and ends on the 28th June.

Group A:

South Africa (Host Country) – After failing to qualify for the African Cup of Nations Angola ’10 and the only nation not a champion in their continent, South Africa feels that there is a need to show the rest of the world that despite the country’s lack of involvement in previous (and future) international tournaments, they still have something to offer to the football world and with that, hosting the Confederations Cup will be a start.

Iraq (Champions of Asia) – With only one WC appearance at the ’86 Mexico, Iraq will undoubtedly be considered outsiders in the Confederations Cup. But their progress in the last decade proves otherwise, their run in the Asia Cup will cause some concerns to the rest of Group A, beating the likes of Australia and Korea. Also this is more or less the same team that took gold at the 2000 AFC Youth Championships and that surprised the world by storming into the last four at ’04 Athens. Confederations Cup’s surprise package.

Spain (Champions of Euro) – Amazingly, the reigning European champions has never won any FIFA sanctioned tournaments in senior level but next year could be their year. Actually, this year’s Confederations Cup could be theirs too. With players playing for the biggest clubs in the world, anything but victory will be seen as a failure.

New Zealand (Champions of Oceania) – I’m going to be honest here, I was surprised when I found out that New Zealand has won the Oceania Cup four times and this will be their third appearance in the Confederations Cup. In fact, I thought all they play there is rugby.

Group B:

Egypt (Champions of Africa) – Along with South Africa, Egypt is another African nation to compete in this year’s Confederations Cup. While South Africa automatically qualified as host nation, Egypt got in through the hard way. Six Africa Cup of Nations titles and back-to-back victories in the recent years, they should be considered as contenders of the tournament, or at least as the competition’s underdogs. Potentially able to cause an upset or two in this tournament.

Italy (Champions of the World) – With the title of ’06 WC winner, Italy will be the team to be beat. The Azurri will be spearheaded by Marcello Lippi once again after a relatively weak performance under Roberto Donadoni in the ’08 Euro which they lost to eventual winners Spain in the semi-finals. Lippi was the man that led the Italians to the crown in ’06 but somehow I have a gut feeling that the Azurri won’t do well in this tournament. 

USA (Champions of Americas) – The team has arguably over-achieved in this competition in the past, finishing third in two occasions. The USA are favourite to win one of the three automatic spots on offer for CONCACAF South African qualification campaign. What they lack in skills and flair, they make up with the depth of talent and ability but that might not be enough.

Brazil (Champions of South America) – Along with Italy, Brazil is another team to beat but their bad start to their South Africa 2010 qualifying campaign could give confidence to the rest of the group. Although, they did beat Italy 2-0 last February when Robinho was in an impressive form. Won the Confederations Cup twice in 1997 and 2005, so maybe some sexy football will be on display this coming week.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 8, 2009 4:16 pm

    Out of all those teams Spain seems like the most obvious favorite, since they won the last major tourney. It’s Sod’s law hehe

    Personally I’m hoping for a win for team USA.

  2. June 8, 2009 4:40 pm

    You’re right about NZ, they don’t have a hope. I live in NZ now (am English though, fear not) and they’re imporving steadily, but slowly. Amazingly football is actually the most played sport at a junior level, but too few see a chance of a career in football and so don’t follow it through, unsurprising as there is just one professional club here.

    Their main threat, Shane Smeltz, was pretty much a failure for Halifax Town in England’s lower divisions a few seasons ago before coming back to Wellington and ripping up the A-League, so that shows you the sort of quality they have. Also there’s Chris Killen who’s at Celtic but rarely plays and spent the latter part of this season on loan at Norwich where he couldn’t get into the first team.

    Ryan Nelsen of Blackburn is their star man and captain but he’s injured, and they have a youngster coming through who is at West Brom at present and goes by the name of Chris Wood, who they have high hopes for.

    Essentially though, if they get a point, it will be a major upset.

  3. June 8, 2009 5:28 pm

    ab. isnt sod’s law the same as murphy’s law? if anything can go wrong, it will.

    somehow i think iraq will come 2nd in their group, and will play spain again in the final – where sod’s law will take place for the spanish team.

    ah. held my breath for a moment there when you said youre living in NZ. lol

    i read somewhere that the majority of the NZ team are from one club, the wellington i believe. im guessing thats the lone professional club there.

    i heard of shane smeltz, apparently he broke the national scoring record or something in the qualifications recently. and they are top of their group, albeit competing against new caledonia, fiji and vanuatu, so im sure theres some talent there.

  4. June 9, 2009 9:09 am

    It is? hehe All this while i thought it was the law behind the whole ‘wait for a bus and theres none in sight, when you’re not (waiting for that particular bus) 2 come driving by’ thing.

  5. June 9, 2009 6:11 pm

    lol, okie i get it now. the buses are the trophies in your case.

  6. June 9, 2009 6:57 pm

    Brazil will win it, a final Brazil vs Spain :)

  7. glamorousdiss permalink*
    June 9, 2009 11:26 pm

    for a minute i thought i was in a class to get my lawyer’s degree! lol.. what with all the laws passing by….

    I say Italy to win!

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