With another Confederations Cup final in the books, it's time for us all to overanalyze the results and what they mean for next year's World Cup.
OK, so the results aren't completely meaningless. Brazil's 3-0 victory over the consensus best nation in the world, Spain, is not only significant, but also quite decisive. We aren't used to seeing Spain suffocated in the midfield and just plain outclassed the way they were today. But even still, the hyperbole flying around social media right now is admittedly over the top.
First, one must consider the the Confederations Cup tournament and what the previous six installments have yielded. Not only have the Confederations Cup champions never gone on to win the World Cup the following year, but a hosting nation has always put forth a respectable performance. And with Brazil already winning half of the Confederations Cups coming into this year's, anyone could have foreseen another spectacular tournament for Luiz Felipe Scolari's side.
Clearly Brazil has fed off the home crowd's energy over the last two weeks, but the pressure to put on a great performance has been immense. Which is why the performances of Neymar and Fred, in particular, were so vital to the team's success. It looked even better considering how unimpressive Brazil looked in the matches prior to the tournament.
Which brings up another important point—before the Confederations Cup, Brazil was losing their footing among the world's best. I'll be the first to say how much of a sham FIFA's World Rankings are and the fact that Spain is ranked so low is laughable. But at the same time, you don't drop to No. 22 in the world by playing your best football.
And what to make of Spain? Widely considered the world power of football prior to tonight's game, but many are prepared to turn that title to Brazil after tonight. Nonsense. A moniker such as that can't be lost in one Confederations Cup match. Naturally, the Spanish have some questions to answer after being dominated the way they were today, but nothing about their current form suggests long-term trouble for Vicente Del Bosque's squad.
Brazil has not lost a competitive match at home since losing 3-1 to Peru in the 1975 Copa América tournament. It's an inconceivable unbeaten streak and one that should not be discounted. Though we've been treated to another entertaining Confederations Cup tournament, the results have to be taken with a grain of salt.
The 3-0 scoreline will be all but forgotten outside of Spain and Brazil a year from now when the World Cup is in full swing. Just think about how much the United States' 2009 Confederations Cup run—in which they defeated Spain 2-0 in the semifinal and took an early 2-0 lead on Brazil in the final—netted them in South Africa. Brazil still has to come out and perform even better next summer to earn a sixth World Cup.
Sure this result is notable, but trying to decipher what it will mean 345 days from now is still an uneducated guess.
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