Confederations Cup can help produce winners on and off the pitch
The stage is set. The hosts Brazil are through to the final, and now all that is needed is for Spain to fulfill the expectations of many a footballing fan. Beat Italy, and secure the dream final. Samba football meets the ticka-tacka pass-and-move specialists in what is thought by many to be a dress rehearsal of what might be to come next year at the 2014 World Cup.
Such a spectacle must be the marketing and publicists dream for this, a tournament which has been drenched in political nightmares from the beginning and shows no sign of abating anytime soon. Finally the football can take center stage, they will say, and all will be vindicated. Brazil will be shown to be able and capable of producing the goods, when skepticism has been rife, and the common man in the street, who in Brazil earns £229 a month, has been apoplectic concerning both the ticket prices, (beginning at £30+ so over 13% of the monthly wage, the equivalent of £250 in British terms from average wage calculations), and the belief that the money spent on the tournament, could have, and indeed a belief shared by many around the world, should have, been used for projects such as schooling, housing, healthcare and other such things, of which the staggering lack of, plague Brazil's cities with, in stark contrast to the various new stadiums obvious opulence.
Naymar is scintillating, although a smidgen too fond of the ground at times, Torres is scoring for fun, Spain are unbeaten in 28 competitive games (a new world record incidentally), Fred is the new fox-in-the-box, and Luis is playing on with a nose which requires surgery. There is, has been, and should be to come, much to enjoy when viewing from outside, in our own comfort zones, far from the protests, ensconced in our seats awaiting the next installment and wondering if perhaps a new star from this will end up at our preferred league club. Italy will undoubtedly do their best to spoil Spain's continuing world domination, and are well placed to do exactly that, having more than held their own against the Netherlands and indeed Brazil this year, and for myself, I almost hope they do.
A Spain verses Brazil final will eclipse all of the other issues surrounding this tournament, a tournament which until recently was taken with a pinch of salt. Brazil has a chance to do that next year. It's hosting the World Cup, one of the biggest festivals of sport known to man. This year, from this competition, it would be nice for once if something far more meaningful came from this competition. Recognition of the importance of impoverished people within the country of Brazil. If that means I have to wait another year for Spain v Brazil, I'm OK with that. Brazil v Italy is still a massive game, and would still provide some fantastic entertainment. If it can also be used as a platform to improve the lives of those who need it most in the host country, which of course can only bring positives for next year's experience, then maybe this year's Confederations Cup competition might be celebrated in years to come as a victory for more than just football, and the concept of "more than one winner" can finally be applied in a game where only two teams are playing at any one time. It's a concept I think perhaps Tahiti especially in this competition could get behind.
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