International Friendly: Italy vs. Brazil Preview

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International Friendly: Italy vs. Brazil Preview
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On Thursday, two of the most storied teams in the history of international soccer will clash on neutral ground in Geneva, Switzerland.  

Italy and Brazil have won more World Cup titles (four and five, respectively) than any other country on the planet and have a long history against each other, as well.

The Brazilians have historically had the edge in the matchup, but the fortunes of the teams at present could not be more different.  

Italy's surprise run to the final of Euro 2012 has shot them up into the top five in the FIFA World Rankings, and they are widely regarded as a team on the rise.  The Brazilians, on the other hand, have plummeted in the rankings, in part because their status as hosts of the next World Cup has limited their ability to play competitive matches and partly through sub-par play.

With the two teams scheduled to face each other on June 22 in the Confederations Cup, it's unlikely that the two sides will pull out all the stops in Switzerland.  That said, there are some intriguing storylines to look at for both teams.  

Let's take a closer look at this clash of the titans.

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