Samba in 'flava', Spain in pain
Two minutes was all it took for Brazil to score the opening goal and take control of the anticipated final between world champions Spain and hosts of the 2013 Confederations Cup, Brazil.
Fred pounced on a Hulk pull-out to fight off the sleeping Spanish defenders and goalkeeper to slot in the opener.
New world soccer sensation, Neymar, started the move and clinically finished it to give the Brazilians an unassailable 2-0 lead, only for Fred to drive in the killer blow with a well-deserved third goal.
Where was Spain ?
Totally outclassed, outfought and outplayed! The Spanish were in pain, were humiliated and, for the first time in a long time, looked lost and short of ideas.
Only Iniesta was near his best form and it is little wonder he was voted second-best player of the tournament.
The disciplined, organised play that was ever so present in this great Spanish side was clearly missing and honestly had more to do with the Brazilians’ game plan than a lack of will from the Spanish.
As Sergio Ramos rushed in to aggressively snatch the ball to play the penalty that was awarded to Spain, it became clear that the hierarchy and humility was out the door. Not surprisingly he missed the penalty. Xavi's look as Ramos stepped up to kick it said it all.
When players like Ramos learn that their primary duty is to defend and not be gallant playmakers or goal scorers, Spain and Real Madrid will be better off.
This was by far the heaviest defeat for Spain in a long time and what is troubling (for Spanish fans) is that it was more than deserved.
PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT
Neymar has been, by far, the best. He grew from strength to strength, scored in every game but one and contributed, via assists or dummy runs, to every other goal scored by Brazil, as he led them to their third consecutive Fifa Confederations Cup.
Barcelona must be thanking God for having signed him on before the championship. Otherwise they might have had to pay double to buy his services.
Neymar is fast, intelligent, skilled, theatrical, calm in front of goal, strong, visionary and ready for top flight world football.
What next for Spain?
They urgently need to take a step back and evaluate the situation. Is the recent decline in form for Spain and Barcelona due to fatigue, lack of motivation, complacency or a need for new blood to reinvigorate competition? All the above and more will be welcomed.
What's next for Brazil?
History has shown that winners of the Confederations Cup never go on to win the World Cup the following year. To break this jinx come 2014, Brazil need to continue in the same way they have played this Confed Cup and, better still, intensify their efforts via more competitive friendly games.
One thing is for sure. With this home turf success, the Brazilian have calmed the nerves of their protesting fan base and have aided Fifa in calming negatives.
Samba and Neymar are the new 'flava'.
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