The eyes of the world will be on Brasilia’s recently upgraded Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha on Saturday for the opening match of the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013. The expanded ground, which can now hold upwards of 70,000 spectators will see title-holders Brazil take on Asian champions Japan, who recently became the first side to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
The Japanese undoubtedly face a tough task, having never beaten the South American side in nine previous encounters. Moreover, if they are to end that sequence, they will now have to do it in the opening game of a major tournament - and in their opponents' back yard.
Preceding the game there will be an opening ceremony that will start at 2.25pm local time with the participation of 2,600 volunteers. Directed by carnival designer Paulo Barros, the colourful on-pitch show will pay tribute to the diversity of Brazilian culture and the eight countries taking part in the tournament.
The two players first met at the final of the 2011/12 DFB-Pokal, with Kagawa representing Borussia Dortmund and Luiz Gustavo playing for arch-rivals Bayern Munich. After just three minutes, Kagawa got himself on the score-sheet and went on to produce a stunning performance for Dortmund, who ran out 5-2 winners to seal a dramatic league and cup double.
The expert’s view
Zico: "There’s every chance of this game being one of the toughest ever between the two sides. The Japanese have more and more players filling vital roles in leagues like those of Germany, Italy, England and Russia. Brazil, while favourites, are still looking for their best starting XI and the right formation.”
You can win the official match ball from every Brazil game. Just visit the competition page by clicking on the link to the left and you will find a list of three questions posted for each game. Answer them all correctly and you will be in with a chance to win the match ball. Remember, you only get one opportunity to submit your answers so check them thoroughly. The questions for each game will be posted at kick-off and will stay on the page until three minutes after the game is over. You must be a member of the FIFA.com Club to take part in the competition, so register if you haven't done so already. It is quick, simple and free.
On this day, Brazil met Egypt in the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 in a dramatic encounter which saw the South Americans eke out a narrow 4-3 win. The game looked to be heading for a 3-3 draw, before Brazil were awarded a last-minute penalty for a handball by Ahmed El Mohammedi. Kaka made no mistake from the spot to secure the three points and put his side on the road to the title.
Alain Guiahouly (Côte d'Ivoire), 47 - Played in the FIFA Confederations Cup 1992
To get involved on Twitter, remember to use the hashtag #confeds throughout the day and #BRAJPN when talking about the match.