Group stage signs off with heavyweight bout
© FIFA.com

The last round of Group A fixtures sets up a rematch of the 1994 FIFA World Cup USA™ Final between heavyweights Italy and Brazil. Both sides won their first two encounters at the Festival of Champions, meaning the duo will battle to top the group.


National pride is on the line in the other tie between Japan and Mexico, with both determined to triumph in order not to return home without picking up at least a point at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013.

The matches
Italy - Brazil, Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Saturday 22 June, 16:00 (local time)
Japan - Mexico, Mineirao-Stadion, Belo Horizonte, Saturday 22 June, 16:00 (local time)


The duel
Neymar (Brazil) - Mario Balotelli (Italy)

Despite both teams boasting squads bursting with world-class talent, this pair nevertheless stand out from the crowd, and not only because of their extravagant hair styles or goal celebrations. Mario Balotelli and Neymar Junior each have the ability to decide a game with a moment of individual brilliance.

The 22-year-old Italian and his 21-year-old counterpart may only be at the start of their burgeoning careers, but they already have a knack of dominating the headlines and are idolised by fans across the globe. The occasionally eccentric duo have each netted twice so far at the tournament, while Neymar was voted Budweiser Man of the Match in each of his games. The most recent encounter between Italy and Brazil came in a 2-2 friendly draw in March 2013, but only Balotelli found the target that day.

The absentees
Daniele de Rossi (Italy) - suspended
Makoto Hasebe (Japan) - suspended
 
The sporting legend's view
"Brazil and Italy. You’re putting me against the wall. I’ll be pretty much neutral on this one and only say that I’m a USA supporter (laughing). But I’m really excited for the match, anyway. Looks like Brazil is changing their playing style, and I want to take a close look at this."
Kobe Bryant, NBA star who’ll be at the stadium in Salvador.

The fact
Both Neymar and Balotelli are on Twitter, with the former enjoying a following of over seven million fans and the latter around one million. FIFA.com also has Twitter accounts in six languages, providing the latest news, behind-the-scenes insights and exclusive photos to millions of supporters worldwide. Follow the @FIFAcom account in English to make sure you never miss a kick.

The anniversary
Greece 0-0 Mexico, 22 June 2005, Frankfurt, Germany

Exactly eight years ago today at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Germany, Mexico booked their place in the semi-finals with a goalless draw against European champions Greece. In doing so, the CONCACAF champions left record FIFA World Cup winners Brazil in second place in Group B, having beaten A Seleção 1-0 and opened with a 2-1 triumph against Japan. The Mexicans went on to finish fourth at the Festival of Champions after losing out to the tournament hosts 4-3 after extra time in a gripping match for third place.

The birthday
Goncalves (Brazil), 47 - Played at the FIFA Confederations Cup 1997