Confederations Cup: 2013: Ultimate XI

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The 2013 Confederations Cup is nearing the half-way stage and it has, so far, delivered a complete spectacle.

Some of the best players in world football are competing in the prestigious tournament and here, we take a look at an Ultimate XI of players that are featuring in the competition. 

GK: Iker Casillas (Spain)

Despite being out of favour with Jose Mourinho at the Bernabeu this season, Spain's captain is still undoubtedly the world's best between the sticks. 

He has been in the FIFA XI every year since 2008 and has continuously shone for his country in major tournaments being included in the 2010 World Cup team of the tournament as well as the 2008 and 2012 euro team of the tournament.

Will Casillas still his outstanding self after the season in which he has had the least playing time in his career.

RB: MaxiPereira (Uruguay)  

Maxi Pereira's tireless running and tenacious tackling has seen him transition into one of the best right-backs in the world. 

Unfortunately, he doesn't play in a league that would expose him to a larger audience, thus his performances generally go unnoticed. 

Nonetheless, football aficionados recognise his importance to Benfica and Uruguay. 

CB: Thiago Silva (Brazil)

The PSG and Brazil captain is the rock of Luiz Felipe Scolari's defence.

Neymar may be the great hope of this Brazilian side, but Thiago Silva is every bit as vital. With the  still searching for their own definitive style, he'll need to be at his most resolute for them to appease the home support this summer. 

Strong, quick and an excellent reader of the game - technically not bad either - it is no wonder why the 28-year-old is first choice for his country, nor why PSG spent €42 million for his services last summer.

CB: Giorgio Chiellini (Italy)

The Italy and Juventus vice-captain is like Silva, the heart of his country's defence.

On the pitch his tackling is hugely impressive whilst off the field he is most certainly a gentleman.

Despite belonging to the golden generation, he was not part of the 2006 World Cup winning squad. 

However, he has grown as a player over the years helping Italy to reach the final of Euro 2012 and winning the Serie A defender of the year award three times in a row: 2008, 2009 and 2010.

LB: Marcelo (Brazil)

There may still remain question marks over the defensive prowess of the Real Madrid left-back, but there are few full-backs who offer the same attacking threat as Marcelo. 

His concentration may occasionally wonder, but his speed in transition - both from an attacking and defensive point of view - and quality in possession make him one of Brazil's most important players.

His link up play with Neymar could prove vital down the left hand side if Brazil are to be a success this summer.

Expect an impressive tournament from the 20-cap defender, as he looks to nail down his place ahead of Atletico Madrid's Filipe Luis.

CM: Andrea Pirlo (Italy)

Pirlo was Italy's dictator last summer when the Azzuri surprised europe to reach the final of the European Championships.

Like a fine wine, Pirlo seems to get better with age, which must lead AC Milan to regret their decision to release the playmaker two years ago.

Described as 'the architect' by his peers, Pirlo continues to dominate the midfield with his calm demeanour and impressive range of passing.

CM: Xavi (Spain)

What can you say about Xavi. Oh yeah, he's won just seven La Liga titles, three Champions Leagues, two European Championships and a World Cup.

Xavi's abnormally good vision, pinpoint accurate passing and world class ball control allow him to dictate the flow of play whilst rarely relinquishing possession. His ability to completely control some matches has earned him the sobriquet, 'The Puppet Master.'

He has been key to Spain's golden generation but at 33 will he be up to his usual standards?

RAM: Neymar (Brazil)        

After completing a £48.6m move to his 'dream' club Barcelona, the world will be watching to see if he really deserves the big price tag.

At 21 he has already scored 20 goals in 33 appearances for his country as well as helping Santos win the 2010 Brazilian Cup, 2011 Copa Libertadores and three straight Sao Paulo state championships.

Neymar predominantly plays behind the striker but can also be deployed on either wing. His main traits include his creativity, technical ability and most of all his dribbling. He is the playmaker of this Brazil side.

LAM: Iniesta (Spain)

When Spain need someone to produce a moment of magic on the big stage, Iniesta is the man they turn to.

Like Xavi, Iniesta has won pretty much everything there is to win and at 29 the Confederations Cup represents a different opportunity for the Barcelona man.

One of the defining midfielders of a generation, his ability to recycle possession or just as easily drive at the heart of an opposing defence with the ball at his feet is unmatched.

The midfield maestro always seems to impress on the big stage for Spain; he scored the winner in the 2010 World Cup final and was the man of the match in the final of Euro 2012.

ST: Luis Suarez (Uruguay)

Love him or hate him, there is no doubt that Suarez is a great footballer.

Perhaps not as clinical as Cavani - although he still netted 30 times in 44  for Liverpool last season - his all round play and partnership with Cavani could prove a handful for opposing defences.

Full of guile, inventiveness and wonderful close control, he is a defender's nightmare and his work ethic ensures that they don't get a moments peace with him around.

Brilliant at the 2011 Copa America, Suarez was crucial for in shrugging Brazil and Argentina to one side for Uruguay to win the tournament.

ST: Edinson Cavani (Uruguay)

Edinson Cavani, known as El Matador, has scored 104 goals in three seasons for the Naples club - only 11 behind the total the legendary Diego Maradona managed in seven seasons there.

The 26-year-old's outstanding performances have lead to increased speculation surrounding his future, Man City and Chelsea are just a couple of the clubs chasing the forward's signature.

Check out the official Facebook page for the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil! Click here: FIFA Confederations Cup 2013


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