USA announced their squad for the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 yesterday, meaning that all eight participating nations have now confirmed their rosters for the quadrennial tournament.
Every confederation is represented at the 'Festival of Champions', with the six respective continental champions joined by FIFA World Cup™ champions Italy, together with host nation South Africa. Among the 184 players selected are some world's finest footballers, all of whom have already demonstrated their quality on some of the game's greatest stages. Now, after much anticipation and exctiement, the moment of truth is finally upon us.
The famous names
Reigning FIFA Confederations Cup champions Brazil return as South American champions boasting an array of attacking talent, with Robinho and former FIFA World Player of the Year Kaka arguably the star attractions. Attempting to halt their progress in Group B will be world champions Italy, for whom captain Fabio Cannavaro will again be a key man behind the playmaker supreme that is Andrea Pirlo. USA and Egypt, meanwhile, will look to their respective talismans in Landon Donovan and the much-beloved Mohamed Aboutrika.
European champions Spain possess an all-star midfield crowned by Xavi and Cesc Fabregas, who in Andres Iniesta's absence will shoulder the responsibility of providing ammunition for the lethal Fernando Torres-David Villa double act. Host nation South Africa will lean on in-form midfield maestro Steven Pienaar, while Iraq can call on a genuine star of the Asian stage in Nashat Akram. Completing the group is New Zealand, for whom striker Shane Smeltz has been in a rich vein of scoring form both domestically and internationally over the last couple of years.
Click on the links on the right-hand menu to look at the official squads of the eight finalists.
The FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 will undoubtedly witness some of the world's greats displaying their awesome talent, not to mention providing a glimpse of some exciting up-and-coming international stars. It promises to be a tasty treat for supporters across the globe and will surely whet the appetite ahead of next year's FIFA World Cup.
Make sure to keep visiting FIFA.com, the official site of the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009, to catch up on video highlights, interviews with the stars and all the best news and features from the Festival of Champions.