Brazil Skewers, Grills, Eats Spain

The defending world champs are handily defeated in Rio de Janeiro.

The culminating game of the 2013 Confederations Cup was billed as a potential preview of a 2014 World Cup dream final, with reigning world champion Spain playing a rejuvenated Brazilian squad. (The Cup is an eight-team tournament featuring a host nation, the defending World Cup champ, and the six FIFA continental champions.) It was supposed to be a back-and-forth match between two powerhouse teams. Brazil made sure that didn’t happen.

Around the two-minute mark, Fred (yep, one name. “Fred”!) got things started for Brazil with one of the sloppiest goals you will ever see.

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A chip shot from the ground. Fall over face first, then kick desperately. Straight out of the playbook.

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As the action settled down, Spain had an opportunity to tie the game, but Brazilian defender David Luiz made a miraculous sliding save, clearing the ball over the net at an impossible angle.

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Not too long after, Neymar booted his fourth goal of the tournament, securing a two-goal lead right before halftime.

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Then Fred put the game away for good with a quick second-half goal — his fifth of the tournament and second of the match.

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To make matters worse, Sergio Ramos blew a penalty kick in the 54th minute, summing up the day for Spain.

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The win gave Brazil its third straight Confederations Cup trophy, and extended its streak of not having lost a non-exhibition home match since 1975. Meanwhile, Spain lost its first non-exhibition game since its 2010 World Cup opener against Switzerland. So if this was a preview of the 2014 World Cup, it’s safe to assume that Brazil will be considered a heavy favorite.

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