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13.06.2009 11:21

All set for the Confederations Cup

Roger Bogunyà

The eighth Confederations Cup starts in South Africa this Sunday and ends on 28th June. Five Barça players are involved: Puyol, Piqué, Busquets and Xavi for Spain and Alves for Brazil.

The Confederations Cup brings together the winners of the various FIFA confederations tournaments – Copa America (Brazil), AFC Asian Cup (Iraq), CAF Africa Cup of Nations (Egypt), CONCACAF Gold Cup (USA), OFC Nations Cup (New Zealand) and UEFA Euro Cup (Spain) – as well as the reigning World Champions (Italy) and the host country of the upcoming World Cup (South Africa).

puyolseleccion.JPGGroup A: Spain, South Africa, New Zealand and Iraq will compete for two semi-final places. Spain, featuring Puyol, Piqué, Busquets and Xavi, are clear favourites to top the group and go into the tournament on the back of a 32-match unbeaten run.

Group B: Brazil and Italy are the main contenders to reach the semi-finals in group B and USA and Egypt will have to perform at their very best to stand a chance of progressing. Both Brazil and Italy currently lead their World Cup qualifying groups.

sudafrica2.jpgThe venues: The 16 matches in the tournament – 12 in the group phase, 2 semi-finals the final and 3rd / 4th place – will be played in four different cities. Ellis Park in Johannesburg will host the opening match, the final and two matches from the group stage. The match for 3rd and 4th place plus three games from the group stage will be played in Royal Bafokeng in Rustenburg while Free State in Bloemfontein will host a semi-final and three group matches. Finally, Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria will host just three games from the group stage.
All set for the Confederations Cup
The Barça fixtures
Group stage

New Zealand v Spain

Brazil v Egypt

Spain v Iraq

USA v Brazil

Spain v South Africa

Italy v Brazil

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