Luiz Felipe Scolari's Brazil take on Vicente Del Bosque's seemingly-unstoppable Spain on Sunday, in a game that is set to epitomise this year's enthralling Confederations Cup.

This is a fixture that had neutrals dreaming before the competition had even started. For Spain, arguably the best national team ever, to take on the hosts Brazil at the Maracana is the cherry on top of what has been the best Confederations Cup to date.

Brazil are in no way hampered by any injuries, major or minor, and Scolari could name an unchanged Seleção side to the one that beat Uruguay in the semi-final. 

Roberto Soldado and Cesc Fabregas both missed the semi-final against Italy due to minor muscle problems, but are expected to return for Spain.

Brazil have not lost an international game at home since 1975. If Spain can defeat them and secure the only major trophy that has eluded them to date, that will surely show their worth as possibly the greatest team ever.

Spain will also have bitter memories of the 1950 World Cup, when 63 years ago Brazil defeated them 6-1 at the Maracana. Brazil also benefit from an extra day of rest, and Spain had to go through a gruelling semi-final including extra time and a particularly long penalty shoot-out.

It could even be argued that Spain shouldn't be in the final, as they just nudged their way past a fantastic Italian side in the previous round. 

Brazil have scored 22 goals now in eight games, and they are certainly the team with the most firepower going forward. However, there is still the old belief that Brazil aren't all there defensively, and they will need to iron out any minor issues otherwise Spain will cut them open with the tiki-taka football we all know and love. 

Del Bosque spoke of Spain having no excuses leading into Sunday's final, but said that even he is struggling with the conditions.

"Even I am exhausted and I have barely moved, so imagine how the players must feel," he told reporters. "I'm not looking for excuses. We have 72 hours, others have a bit more, but we want to put on a good show."

Scolari, however, admitted he was impressed by his team's Confederations Cup performances, but insisted they still have a way to go.

"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," he added.

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

With Scolari comparing his squad to the World Cup-winning team of 2002, it is clear he has high belief for the team but is in no way ahead of himself.

As for Brazil's adoring public and supporters this final -  and, on the pitch at least, this tournament - has been a dream come true. The fanatical, football-mad population of Rio de Janiero are expected to pack the Maracana to the rafters. 

This won't be one to miss.

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Topics:
#Brazil Football
#Football
#Spain Football
#Internationals