kaka060613getty

AC Milan playmaker Kaka is expected to be a key player for Brazil at the Confederations Cup. ((Alex Livesey/Getty Images))

SCHEDULE AND RESULTS

FIRST ROUND       
MATCH  DATE - TIME  TEAMS EXTRAS
June 15 - 10:00 AM ET  <img src="/sports/soccer/FIFAconfederationscup/includes/imgs/flags/sml/brazil.jpg" alt="Brazil"/>[/CUSTOM] BRAZIL vs. <img src="/sports/soccer/FIFAconfederationscup/includes/imgs/flags/sml/egypt.jpg" alt="Egypt"/>[/CUSTOM] EGYPT Game Report | Full Game Video | Video Highlights | Game Tracker
Venue: Mangaung/Bloemfontein - Final result: Brazil wins 4-3     
June 18 - 10:00 AM ET  <img src="/sports/soccer/FIFAconfederationscup/includes/imgs/flags/sml/brazil.jpg" alt="Brazil"/>[/CUSTOM] BRAZIL vs. <img src="/sports/soccer/FIFAconfederationscup/includes/imgs/flags/sml/usa.jpg" alt="United States"/>[/CUSTOM] UNITED STATES Game Report | Full Game Video  | Video Highlights  | Game Tracker 
Venue: Tshwane/Pretoria - Final result: Brazil wins 2-0        
11  June 21 - 2:30 PM ET  <img src="/sports/soccer/FIFAconfederationscup/includes/imgs/flags/sml/brazil.jpg" alt="Brazil"/>[/CUSTOM] BRAZIL vs. <img src="/sports/soccer/FIFAconfederationscup/includes/imgs/flags/sml/italy.jpg" alt="Italy"/>[/CUSTOM] ITALY Game Report | Full Game Video  | Video Highlights  | Game Tracker  
Venue: Tshwane/Pretoria  - Final result: Brazil wins 3-0          

SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Inter Milan, Italy), Gomes (Tottenham Hotspur, England), Victor (Gremio)

Defenders: Maicon (Inter Milan, Italy), Daniel Alves (FC Barcelona, Spain), Kleber (Internacional), Andre Santos (Corinthians), Juan (AS Roma, Italy), Lucio (Bayern Munich, Germany), Luisao (Benfica, Portugal)

Midfielders: Kleberson (Flamengo), Gilberto Silva (Panathinaikos, Greece), Josue (Wolfsburg, Germany), Ramires (Cruzeiro), Elano (Manchester City, England), Felipe Melo (Fiorentina, Italy), Julio Baptista (AS Roma, Italy), Kaka (AC Milan, Italy)

Forwards: Alexandre Pato (AC Milan, Italy), Luis Fabiano (Sevilla, Spain), Nilmar (Internacional), Robinho (Manchester City, England)

Coach: Carlos Dunga

SCOUTING REPORT

Probable starting formation: (GK) Cesar — (D) Maicon, Juan, Lucio, Alves — (M) Kaka, Silva, Baptisa, Elano — (F) Pato, Robinho

Strengths

  • Overall Depth: For the most part, Carlos Dunga is bringing his 'A' roster to South Africa, which means he could field two Brazilian teams, either one of which would be capable of winning the Confederations Cup. To think that Dunga will have players the calibre of Luis Fabiano, Kleber, Felipe Melo and Julio Baptista sitting on the bench speaks volumes about the incredible depth of the Brazilian team.
  • Attacking options: Youngsters Pato and Robinho are two of the most dangerous and exciting forwards in the game. Luis Fabiano doesn't get the same recognition, but the Sevilla star is a goal-scoring machine. And Brazil has so many offensive weapons in midfield, including Kaka, Elano and Julio Baptista. Opposing defenders are going to have their hands full.
  • Confidence: Brazil's reputation precedes itself for good reason: the Selecao have won the World Cup a record five times, are the defending Confederations Cup champions and are the most successful nation in the history of international soccer. They go into every game confident they can win it because most of the time they do.

Weaknesses

  • No Ronaldo and Ronaldinho: For the first time in a long time, both Ronaldo and Ronaldinho won't take to the field for Brazil at a FIFA tournament. The two have been the backbone and the centrepiece of the Brazilian team for so long, that one must wonder how the  Selecao will function without the both of them.
  • Pressure:  Brazil is one of the teams to beat in South Africa, but it has struggled to live up to the pressure of being the favourite before, namely at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Coach Carlos Dunga and his players will be hounded by the merciless Brazilian press and by fans who demand success, their every move and mistake scrutinized. Can they deal with the pressure?
  • Tough group: Brazil won't have any easy time of it in Group B. After playing African champions Egypt — who are no soft touch — in its first game, a tricky contest with the U.S. awaits the Brazilians, followed by an encounter with world champions Italy. If Brazil is to make it out of the first round, they're going to have to do it the hard way.

Players to watch

  • Dan Alves: Considered by many critics as the best right fullback in the world, the FC Barcelona star is a solid defender who provides Brazil with attacking width thanks to his dangerous, rampaging runs down the wing. He's also a great provider who can deliver curling crosses into the box for his teammates.
  • Kaka: The AC Milan star ranks as one of the most dangerous players in the game, his driving runs, sublime ball control and perfect passes able to undo even the tightest of defences. A driving force in midfield, the former world player of the year is a brilliant playmaker who has an eye for goal and can break open a game in an instant.
  • Alexandre Pato: Pato, who many are calling the next Ronaldo, is a lethal goal scorer, boasting superior technical ability, intelligence and strength in the air. The 17-year-old AC Milan star has taken Serie A by storm and could be one of the top breakout stars this summer in South Africa.

Key injuries/squad omissions: Chelsea defender Alex and Manchester United midfielder Anderson were both named to the squad, but injuries forced them to withdraw. Dunga also omitted veterans Ronaldo and Ronaldinho. Defender Maicon is dealing with a right leg injury.

ROAD TO FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP

2009 Confederations Cup qualification route: Brazil booked its spot in South Africa by winning the 2007 Copa America in Venezuela.

TEAM HISTORY

  • FIFA member since: 1923
  • Current FIFA ranking: #5
  • Team nickname: Selecao
  • All-time caps leaders: Cafu (142)
  • All-time leading scorer: Pele ( 77 goals)
  • Number of Previous Confederations Cup Appearances: 5
  • All-time record: 23 games played, 13 wins, 5 draws, 5 losses
  • Goals for: 50
  • Goals against: 20
  • Top scorer: Ronaldinho (9 goals)
  • Most appearances: Dida (20 caps)

Confederations Cup History:

  • 1992 — did not qualify
  • 1995 — did not qualify
  • 1997 — CHAMPIONS
  • 1999 — finalist
  • 2001 — semifinals
  • 2003 — first round
  • 2005 — CHAMPIONS

Achievements

  • World Champions: 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002
  • Copa America Champions: 1919, 1922, 1949, 1989, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2007
  • Confederations Cup Champions: 1997, 2005
  • Under-20 World Champions: 1983, 1985, 1993, 2003
  • Confederations Cup Champions: 1997, 2005
  • Olympic Silver Medal: 1984, 1988
  • Olympic Bronze Medal: 1996, 2008

Legends from the past

Pele : The greatest player ever to play the game, Pele was one of the most recognizable and revered athletes of the 20th century. Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pele led Brazil to its first World Cup in 1958 at the tender age of 17, scoring  77 goals in 92 games during his international career. He won three World Cups.

Zico: Born Artur Antunes Coimbra, Zico was voted South American Player of the Year in 1977, 1981 and 1982. He played in three World Cups (1978, 1982 and 1986) before retiring in 1990 after earning 72 caps for Brazil. He's often considered the best Brazilian player after Pele and Garrincha.