Confederations Cup 2013: Early Preview of Italy's Draw

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Confederations Cup 2013: Early Preview of Italy's Draw
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

On December 1, the draw was held for the 2013 Confederations Cup.

The Confederations Cup was originally known as the King Fahd Cup, and was contested twice in 1992 and '95 between the Saudi Arabian national team and several continental champions.  In 1997 FIFA took over the competition and started holding it on a bi-annual basis.

After the 2003 tournament, the decision was made to hold the tournament every four years the year before the World Cup, with the host nation being the one that was due to host the World Cup the next year.  It is now regarded—rightly so—as a dress rehearsal for the next year's Cup.  It is considered a valuable warm-up—playing more games that actually mean something before the lull between qualifying and the World Cup, often against teams of excellent quality.

The tournament pits eight teams against each other—the six continental champions, the host nation, and the winner of the previous World Cup.  It's this crucial point that has allowed Italy to make their second consecutive appearance in the tournament.  Because Spain holds both the World Cup and the European Championship at the moment, Italy has qualified for the tournament by virtue of being the Euro 2012 runners-up.

Here is a brief, VERY preliminary look at how the draw shook out, and how Italy will have to navigate the tournament.

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