Monday, June 22, 2009

Brazil vs Italy, Clash of the Titans

Luis Fabiano celebrates after scoring against Italy

Real Madrid bound Brazilian super stiker Kaka consoling Italy's captain and Real Madrid team mate - Fabio Cannavaro.

In soccer, what will happen if the 5 time World Cup winners squares up against the 4 time World Cup winners???

Brazil the 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002 FIFA World Cup Champions met Italy, the 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006 FIFA World Cup Champions last night, at 2.30 am Malaysian time in the Confederations Cup in South Africa.

The end result, Brazil 3 - 0 Italy, with all the goals scored in the 1st half by the mighty Brazilians.

The last time Brazil and Italy met was in a friendly match in Wembley, England in February 2009 where Brazil prevailed in a 2-0 win.

This 2 great teams have met each other in 2 World Cup Finals in 1970 and 1994.

In the final in Mexico 1970, the greatest Brazilian team of all time led by Pele, Rivelino, Jairzinho, Tostao and Carlos Alberto outclassed Italy 4-1 in the final in one of the greatest ever match ever witnessed by the world.

Then Italy's star palyers, Luigi Riva, Roberto Boninsegna and Gianni Rivera were no match to the Brazilian firepower superattack.

In that 1970 memorable match, after leading comfortably 3-1, Brazil began playing exhibition football, to the delights of millions of football fans around the globe.

Brazil 4th and final goal was scored by Carlos Alberto.

The goal was dubbed the greatest ever goal ever scored in that tournament.

Carlos Alberto scored after a series of moves by the Brazilian team from the left to the center, where a total of 8 outfield Brazilian players passed the ball around before Carlos Alberto hammered the ball into the corner of the Italian goal following an inch perfect pass across the Italian 18 yard box from Pele.

In the 1994 World Cup final in USA, Brazil inspired by Romario and Bebeto prevailed again against the Azzurris.

Italy had the strongest defence in the world at that time with the legendary Franco Baresi together with Paolo Maldini and Alsesandro Costacurta, and their goal keeper -Gianluca Pagliuca. Their strike force was spearheaded by the current World player of the year Roberto Baggio aka the divine Ponytail.

After extra time, the score was dead locked at 0-0.

Despite relentless attack by Brazil, Italy's defence stood firm.

In the ensuing penalty shoot out - the 1st ever match to be decided that way in the history of the World Cup, Roberto Baggio shot the ball over the crossbar and Brazil was crowned champion of the world for the 4th time.

Back to 2009, in last night match, Brazil scored all 3 goals in the 1st half.

Had Brazil scored one goal less, or Italy scored one goal in that match, then Italy should qualify into the semifinal.

Instead it was United States, the team that was beaten 3-1 by Italy earlier who advanced.

It was magic.

Before the Brazil-Italy match, United States was virtually eliminated, having minus 5 goal differences and zero points.

But then Brazil beat Italy 3-0 and USA beat African Champion Egypt by the same margin.

That means USA, Italy and Egypt had the same points - 3 points. USA and Italy also shared the same goal difference - minus 2 but USA qualified by virtue of scoring more goals than Italy in the group stage.

And now, we are waiting for another dream match. The 5 time World Cup Champion - Brazil against the Euro 2009 champion - Spain...!!! Spain currently boasted a 35 matches unbeaten record!!!

Viva Brazil, Viva Liverpool, You will never walk alone...

After the match, Italy's captain and 2006 world player of the year, Fabio Cannavaro was consoled by Brazil's Kaka - the 2007 world player of the year. Both Cannavaro and Kaka and together with the 2008 world player of the year, Cristiano Ronaldo are now with the same club - Real Madrid!!!

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