The prelude to next year's FIFA World Cup in Brazil begins in June with The Confederations Cup 2013.
The tournament is traditionally played an exact year before the World Cup tournament and this year's edition should prove to be an exciting display of stars, talent, and great
Hosts Brazil are in Group A along with Mexico, Italy, and Japan. Brazil should breeze passed to the semi final stage of the competition. Their star studded squad coupled with the partizan home crowd will likely fuel the impetus Brazil needs to make a statement of intent come next year June when the real showdown of 32 of the world's best footballing nations begin to battle it out.
Brazil's strength of depth is evident with the exclusion of big names Kaka and Ronaldinho. All round the park, Brazil have what it takes to once again be a powerhouse in world football. Players like Thiago Silva, Dani Alves, Oscar, and Neymar are enough to cause any team massive migraines.
Brazil take on Japan in the opening match on 15 June. Group A will pose a problem for all teams as each of the teams are capable of big things. Italy will see themselves with much to prove as their merge of youth and experience should see them progress into the semi finals at least.
Group B includes World Cup Winners Spain along with Copa America winners Uruguay. They meet on 16 June in what will most likely be a 'winner takes the group match.' Minnows Tahiti and African champions Nigeria make up Group B. The big names in the Spanish squad will make them joint favourites with Brazil.
Xavi, Iniesta, Fernando Torres and Gerard Pique make the Spanish a formidable outfit. Spain's recent domination of world football still seems to be going strong and it will be tough for Brazil, Italy, or Uruguay to knock them out at or before the final which takes place on 30 June.
Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani will provide a huge attacking threat for the Uruguayans. The Copa America winners do have the talent and ability to be world beaters on their day and much will be focussed on the men in sky blue.All this means little in the context of 12 months time.
It's true that all these teams - bar one or two - will be in the final mix come Brazil 2014. The Confederations cup in South Africa in 2009 was a huge success and it catapulted the South African nation into fervent anticipation for the successful 2010 tournament.
Let us hope Brazil lives up to the billing; both as hosts and as a team. It would be a magical sight seeing a magical team win the World Cup in their back yard.
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