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Football: Ronaldo lauds fantastic Brazil, protestors

Former world champion Ronaldo on Monday lauded Brazil's "fantastic" Confederations Cup triumph over Spain - but also praised protesters who have taken to the streets in recent weeks, saying they are forcing social change. "Congratulations for a fantastic victory and an unbelievable achievement," said Ronaldo, whose goals saw off Germany in Brazil's 2002 World Cup win.

Brazil'S 2014 World Cup to be "unforgettable"

Despite major social unrest during a Confederations Cup which has been a success on the field but hugely disrupted off it, Brazil will meet the even bigger challenge of hosting next year's World Cup, a top official says. "We will deliver an unforgettable World Cup," Ricardo Trade, executive director of the 2014 World Cup organising committee, said in an interview with the daily O Globo published Saturday. "There are improvements to make, of course," said Trade, who is also involved with the organisation of the 2016 Rio summer Olympics.

Football: Previous Confederations Cup winners

Previous winners of the Confederations Cup ahead of Sunday's final in Rio between holders Brazil and world champions Spain: 1992 (Continental Cup): Argentina 3 Saudi Arabia 1 1995 (Continental Cup): Denmark 2 Argentina 0 1996 (Confederations Cup): Brazil 6 Australia 0 1999 Mexico 4 Brazil 3 2001 France 1 Japan 0 2003 France 1 Cameroon 0 2005 Brazil 4 Argentina 1 2009 Brazil 3 United States 2 afp

Football: Julio Cesar ready for Confeds conquest

After being one of the main fall guys for a disappointing 2010 World Cup, goalkeeper Julio Cesar is back in Brazil's good books for playing a major part in the Selecao's march to the Confederations Cup final. The oldest player in a squad comparatively lacking experience as coach Luiz Felipe Scolari builds a team to lift the World Cup next year on home soil, the 33-year-old came to this event hot after suffering the indignity of relegation from the English Premier league with Queen's Park Rangers.

FIFA confident Brazil-Uruguay match will be safe

World football body FIFA voiced confidence Tuesday that authorities can ensure security during the upcoming Confederations Cup semi-final showdown between hosts Brazil and Uruguay despite the street protests rocking this country. "We are in permanent contact with the local authorities and have total confidence in the security measures implemented," a FIFA spokesman told AFP on the eve of the semi-final between the two South American rivals here.

FIFA confident Brazil-Uruguay match will be safe

World football body FIFA voiced confidence Tuesday that authorities can ensure security during the upcoming Confederations Cup semi-final showdown between hosts Brazil and Uruguay despite the street protests rocking this country. "We are in permanent contact with the local authorities and have total confidence in the security measures implemented," a FIFA spokesman told AFP on the eve of the semi-final between the two South American rivals here.

Football: Brazil beware Uruguayan firepower as final looms

Brazil may have waltzed through their group to reach the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup but they are only too aware of the party pooping abilities of Wednesday's rivals' Uruguay. It was the Uruguayans who delivered Brazilian football its arguably greatest ever blow in winning the 1950 final in Rio's famed Maracana stadium, the revamped version of which will host Sunday's final where either world champions Spain or Italy await.

Mexico beats Japan, host Brazil rolls over Italy at Confederations Cup

Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Jun 23 (EFE).- The Mexican national soccer team, with two goals by striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, beat Japan 2-1 on the weekend but bade farewell to the Confederations Cup in Brazil with its only victory of the tourney. Hernandez scored in the 53rd and 65th minutes in Saturday's match and Japan at least avoided being blanked on a tally in the 85th minute by Shinji Okazaki. Mexico had gone down to defeat in its earlier matches 1-2 against Italy and 0-2 against the host squad, whereas Japan had been defeated by Italy 3-4 and by Brazil 0-3.

Protests could halt Confederations Cup: Brazilian media

(Reuters) - Soccer's Confederations Cup could be abandoned because of the protests which have swept Brazil, local media said on Friday. CBN radio and the website of the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper, both respected, mainstream media, carried reports speculating that the eight-team tournament, considered a dry run for next year's World Cup, was in danger. "FIFA will claim compensation from Brazil if the Confederations Cup has to be suspended," said a headline on CBN's website.

Football: Brazil, Italy bid to avoid Spain trap

Brazil and Italy will be battling to avoid the daunting likelihood of a semi-final against world champions Spain when they meet in Salvador on Saturday to contest top spot in Confederations Cup Group A. Both sides secured places in the last four with a game to spare, Brazil after a Neymar-inspired 2-0 defeat of Mexico, Italy following a nail-biting 4-3 success against Japan.
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