If the Confederations Cup final taught us anything it was that Spain are not the favorites to win the World Cup after the national side suffered a comprehensive 3-0 defeat to next summer’s hosts Brazil.
In the aftermath of the two Liga giants getting knocked out to German opposition in the Champions League, Spanish hopes rested on the national team to inject some success in an otherwise disappointing season. Yet Vicente Del Bosque’s men were completely outfoxed by a forceful, pressing Brazil midfield that swung the pendulum of world football away from the Iberian Peninsula and towards South America.
While the Bundesliga is set to dominate club football next season few football betting fans can argue the international scene isn’t Brazil’s to conquer. Having recorded some pretty disparaging results in the lead-up to the Confederations Cup, Brazil were seen as outside favorites for the title and that confidence came more from home support than footballing talent.
Yet many of us were proven wrong as they stormed through the group stage before springing a trap on Spain no one was expecting. The intensity of their game earned Fred a goal after just three minutes and the pace never ceased for an instant. Just like Bayern and Dortmund, the way to beat a Spanish system is to play them at their own game: pass with confidence, anticipate the flow of play when not in possession and press as a team.
You could see this when Spain tried to progress from defence to midfield. Every forward pass was met with a pressing gold shirt that forced the Spanish into playing it back, out of play or they surrendered possession. Brazil had caught the scent of a feverish crowd and were set on the kill.
Neymar deservedly netted a second before Fred rounded off the match early after the break. Meanwhile, the defence was undeterred by anything Spain had to offer (which wasn’t much) and only once did the opposition get through their back four.
Next summer Brazil host the World Cup knowing they haven’t lost a competitive match at home since 1975. Few football betting punters would back against them at this rate, for this team is ready to take on the world.