T Nation

Confed Cup Champs = World Cup Champs?


Alexi Lalas said that he thought Brazil. the Selecao, needed to lose in order to gain "maturity" and valuable experience for the World Cup 2014.

That is pretty much the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Do you guys agree?

Does this tournament win mean that they will win the World Cup'2014 in Brazil?

Also, I think Fred deserved Player of the Tournament rather than Neymar...but obviously Neymar is way flashier.


First...what a great match up. It's rare you see things line up like this in a game that matters. Here is a copy and paste from a comment from another site to which I pretty much agree with 100%.

"ESPN needs to FIRE Alexi Lalas. Commentators need to be unbiased not flaring idiots that say it is better for a team to lose. He obviously has no clue what Brazilian Soccer or Culture is like and has extremely poor foresight. Brazil/Europe and the rest of the World is NOT based in an Elitist Club based system like the USA that virtually eliminates minorities with the Pay to Play club system and College recruiting based on Club performance and Olympic camps. A player like Neymar would never come up through the American system because his parents could not afford it. The US women are on the decline as well as the US men that have to depend on Foreign Nationals."

BTW.....nice to see my Chelsea players on both sides.


Yeah, I saw that comment too, on ESPNFC comment section of one of the articles.

Oscar is a lot better than I thought. It's tough for him to get the proper exposure in Chelsea with Juan Mata running around. Obviously Mata was voted Player Of the Year for Chelsea, two years running?

Personally, I have Italy winning the WC, if Super Mario can stay healthy.


Yes, Mata is great and really coming into his own.

Still too early to call a favorite for the World Cup.....I'll wait to see what the groups look like. Italy will certainly be in the mix.

Unrelated to the WC, I really found the US Pay to Play comment very eye opening and think that the USA will continue to suffer until that is changed. I can imagine most young talent being stolen by ther other major US sports or he/she just disappearing from competitive sports all together.


I agree! Great catch. So yeah, basically the biggest star of soccer came from poverty, played so much around the local "yard" that they basically excelled in the sport.

In america, first of all, there aren't any "open" soccer fields. Every time you see a field, you always get pushed off it for "ruining the turf/grass". Shit is ridiculous.

That's very true, but still based on what I saw in the Confed cup, unless my Ibra does something amazing, I think Italy got it.


Alexi Lalas is the worst sports commentator ever in any sport...it's amazing he manages to string 2 sentences together without mentioning his Under 20 team once beat Brazil's Under 20 team...or something like that...anyway...I hate that effer.

Found this when trying to look up what the ridiculous em effer has ever done. Can't wait to check this shite out on youtube.

Musical career[edit]Lalas was a lead member (guitars, vocals) for the rock band Gypsies, releasing two albums Woodland and Jet Lag. "Woodland" featured the single "Kicking Balls"?which was used in the soundtrack for the movie "The Big Green". The Gypsies were the opening act for eight performances of Hootie & the Blowfish during their 1998 European tour. Also in 1998, Lalas released his solo album Ginger and his single Goodnight Moon on the CMC International records label. Since the release of Ginger, Lalas has released three solo albums?the most recent, a downloadable only album called So It Goes in September 2010.


It was a great game, i wanted Brazil to win aswell as Spains style of football can be very un-entertaining at times (despite their brilliance)

But i dont think they will win the World Cup. My money is on Argentina, the only team i can see giving them trouble this time round is Germany who are unreal!

Also, Belgium to make the semi's, you heard it here first!! And England not to get past the groups (if they even qualify)

Something was said about the US , about pay to play and open soccer fields and how this will ruin soccer.
Football is getting ruined in Britiain right now. If you look at English Premier League transfer deals and gossip all you will see is teams buying from abroad. Often unknown players getting loads of money and games ahead of our youth despite them being unproven. This is why our national team is shit, teams rely soo heavily on foreign players now that no one even bothers with good english youth.
You have to pay in alot of places to use football goals rather than open fields so no one is bothering now. Sounds like the Usa is doing the same


I run a 500 kid recreational soccer program in the US. It's damn near impossible to find fields to play on. This combined with parents wanting kids to WIN WIN WIN rather than actually develop as players leads me to believe the US is doomed.


Thats such a shame mate, England is the same. Grass roots youngsters cant get a game unless they go over the park and get mugged. You have to pay for Powerleague 5 a side pitches (which alot people cant afford and has to be pre organized) right up to highest level football, for example, Scott Sinclair and Jack Rodwell both young future england players that need playing time, both join Man City and sit on the bench most of the year for other foreign midfielders to develop as footballers playing week in week out.
Then people knock the England team when they play shit, no wonder eh?

I notice your from Scotland. Another league that is starting to just look abroad for answers rather than provide more for youth to develop.


I'm actually from Washington, DC, but the chicks dig us Scots.


I'd say of the top 4 or 5 teams right now, Italy's trajectory seems to be the one that has the best chance of peaking right in time for WC 2014. Despite the big loss in the Euro final, Italy surprised a lot of teams to get as far as they did and, in the Confed cup game vs. Spain I think they were the more deserving team to win. The players seem to be responding well to the game plan that Prandelli has laid out for them. They've got a good mix of youth and with Pirlo and Buffon a solid veteran core. Spain in the Confed just looked tired to me.

I think more than anything, they;ve lost a little bit of the hunger that had driven them through the last 2 Euros and the last WC. Brazil looked great in this tourney but, to me they';ve always been a wild card in that you can't predict how they'll do. It seems that usually perform in the opposite way that they are expected to. Would'nt be surprised to see an Italy-Germany final (Germans may be a darkhorse in Rio: after a strong WC 2010, many have expected their young stars to take it to the next level but they seem to fall just short each time out, this may be their chance).


Yeah? Well, I'm Swiss.


x2. I think it might get worse now that Ferguson is gone. I am hopeful that harry at QPR finds and trains up some Brit talent from the leagues.

As a Chelsea fan I'm resigned to watching an all foreign team once Lamps and Cashley retire.


Also the heat and humidity is going to be a huge factor. Pretty much all the north European teams are fucked.

-Italy paced themselves well but were still sweating like I've never seen before . Rooney's going to look like a lobster by day 2!


I was impressed with Brazils physical-in-your-face tactics employed against the Spanish. Fast paced, brutally strong, physically powerful and confronting, and still with all of the skill and class associated with Brazilian football. i found it interesting they also used the long-ball/chip over the last line of defense to deal with Spains usually high line of defense.

Some interesting point made on the development of footballers made on this thread. Here in Australia, we have just woken up to the fact that development of footballers start young. We have now started implementing methods and training drills that have been used in Spain, Brazil and Europe for ages. What a lot of people forget is that football is a "culture". You cant just decide to be good at it. Players need to be brought up in the football culture with the right mindset. Something that we in Australia(and I assume its similar in the US) are still learning to embrace/understand. In multi-cultural societies it can be difficult to get everyone on the same "level of thinking".



I do truly think Brazil will win the WC. I mean they dominated spain for 90 minutes, which isn't an easy task. It was unreal how great they performed. Neymar is just ridiculous by himself but once you add first class attackers such as fred, hulk, and oscar it just becomes unfair. Let alone there phenomenal midfield and defense. Italy will challenge them if Pirlo stays healthy and continues to perform at his best. I wouldn't sleep on USA though. I think they will surprise everyone and make a run deep into the elimination stage. Despite what most thing americans are starting to get into cheering on the USA team. Last WC i was in New York City and you could literally hear the city erupt in cheers after every goal.



You make some very good observations and excellent points.

Brazil did indeed employ a very "high pressure" defensive strategy when it came to Spain. Basically, Brazil looked very much like Barcelona did under Pep Guardiola, pressing high and winning the ball back early. Under Tito, FCB no longer does that.

The brazilians have always been a wild-card due to their player's immense talent, but also lack of "discipline", right? Up until now, Brazil was carried by guys like Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, etc. Another thing that includes in "discipline" is execution of the actually game-plan. I don't know about you guys, but I have a hard time imagining Ronaldinho tracking players across the field defensively, even before he lost his step. IMO, that differs from this version of the brazilians, who are being coached for the second time by Scolari, and are pretty keen to listen to the coach and combine the 'joga bonito' with some tactical awareness. They looked good... I think squad depth is another thing that will play a big role in Brazil 2014(very high temperatures, high dehyration/fatigue factor), and the brazilians themselves are quite stacked as of right now..

And nobody does game-plan execution better than the Italians... add some mercurial(and hopefully more mature in 2014) Balotelli and I'm a believer!

Obviously the Italians winning the World Cup is the second most likely scenario, after the whole "Ibrahimovic scores 4 goals every game and Sweden wins the World Cup" debacle.




I do agree with you that USMNT will surprise some people, they are well coached, but they don't have the talent for the schemes. It's pretty funny how you always hear about D'Antoni and NBA coaches not "adjusting the schemes" to the players, and that's pretty much the case here.

Having that said, I don't think USA has a bad scheme, I just think they need a bit more technical players at some key position.. I'm imagining Klinsmann would want them playing it out-of-the-back and actually maintaining possession. .. well if you are sub-par technically, that means you are going to launch that ball upfield and probably lose possession. Obviously having Donavon is huge, but I think USMNT needs to keep the focus on the development of the younger players and not necessarily game-plan with Donavon being the main creator. Donavon is a good enough player where you can put him into any situation, and he'll figure it out, so he probably doesn't need to be indoctrinated like the rest of them.


Alexi Lalas is a fucking goober.