Alternative Match of the Week: The Confederations Cup final 5 years ago

Alternative Match of the Week: The Confederations Cup final

Our match is not so alternative this week, as we look at the final of the Confederations Cup, which will be live tonight from the iconic Marcana stadium in Brazil

The Confederations Cup has provided us with some pretty decent goals in the last few weeks, and one team in particular, the lads from Tahiti, have earned themselves a massive worldwide following. Well, on Twitter at least, where they now have accounts in several different languages to cater to all their fans, from Turkish to Portuguese.

However, the final is here, and somehow, Tahiti were eliminated before they could make it here. It was probably all those goals they conceded.

The two teams that have made it have been the ones playing the best football, bar possibly Japan, who also won a host of admirers after a thrilling display of attacking and technical football against Italy.

With Neymar in Brazil's ranks, the team has looked incredibly good going forward, as the man seems to simply refuse to score standard goals, and has grabbed a few spectacular ones since the start of the tournament.

On the other hand, Spain have looked fairly clinical in all there games, put Tahiti to the sword like no others, and Jordi Alba has hit a purple patch of form, giving defences real problems with his runs.

Spain Training - FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013

Spain's own defence has not looked invulnerable though, and with Alba constantly pushing up, Neymar may well find joy down the flanks that he can exploit with his pace and ball control. On Alba's side, Hulk could be the man who ends up with the ball at his feet, who is certainly stronger than the Spaniard and may indeed make his presence felt.

The man beside him in the picture above, Andres Iniesta, might not have grabbed as many headlines as usual, but he has a habit of popping up in the final and getting a goal, as well as really making his presence felt.

Spain scraped through after penalties against a slightly understrength Italy side, and even though that may have been due to Italy always being a bogey team for Spain in the history of the national side, Italy played very well and pressed Spain down the gaps which Alba left behind him.

This, however, is the final that everyone wanted, a huge game between hosts Brazil and the World champions at the Maracana is going to be a site to behold.

The player that it looks like Neymar will face up against is Alvaro Arbeloa, who has often been dubbed the weak link in this Spain squad. While he might not be the most gifted in attack, he's not a weak link at the back, and does enjoy the physical side of the game. We won't be surprised to see him and Neynmar pick up a yellow, given that the Brazilian has been throwing in the odd (poor) challenge himself.

Brazil v Uruguay: Semi Final - FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013

There's a full day of football involved too if you decide to watch the Uruguayans take on the Italians in the 3rd place play off, and given how exciting the Italy v Japan game was, hopefully both teams will go at this one full force.

The coverage of the final starts on RTE Two at 10:45pm, with the game itself kicking off at 11pm, but we've enjoyed the analysis of both Kenny Cunninghan and Richie Sadlier so it's worth a watch to see what the lads have to say.