Eight Misses make a hit

A bevy of beauties from around the world is set to grace the stage at Saturday evening's draw for the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009. The eight Miss World candidates will act as assistants when FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke supervises the sorting of the teams into groups for next summer’s prestige tournament.

Seven of the candidates hail from the countries participating in the tournament, with Iraq represented by reigning Miss World, Zilin Zhang of China. Europe provides Miss Italy Claudia Russo representing the FIFA World Cup™ holders, with Miss Spain Patricia Yurena Rodriguez Alonjo doing duty for the continental champions.

Tamara Almeida Silva will represent Copa America winners Brazil, and is joined by Miss USA Mercia Lane Lindell and the youngest of the women, 17-year-old Miss New Zealand Kahurangi Julia Taylor. North Africa provides Miss Egypt Sanaa Ismail Hamed, with Miss South Africa Tansey Coetzee rounding off the group.

The young women attended a photo shoot at Ellis Park on Thursday afternoon, posing for a couple of dozen photographers with former South Africa captain Lucas Radebe at the venue for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 Final. Brazilian Tamara Almeida Silva displayed a real talent for football as she showed off her ball-juggling skills. The women obviously enjoyed their visit to the Ellis Park site, which is being readied in time for the FIFA Confederations Cup.

With such an abundance of beauty set to grace Saturday's draw, one or two people might be hoping the format is repeated for the Final Draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa in Cape Town, when not eight but 32 teams will be in attendance.

FIFA.com has been following the multitude of Misses closely in South Africa: to view our photo gallery, use the links in the right navigation.