FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009™
June 14 - June 28

FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009™

FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009™

Final Tournament Standing

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Brazil crowned on magical stage

It began with a ceremony that encapsulated Africa's unique, infectious culture. It incorporated magical skills, memorable goals, momentous upsets, and world-record runs being established and extinguished. It ended with Brazil recovering a two-goal deficit to edge USA in a thrilling, dramatic final.

If South Africa 2009 was viewed beforehand as a mere appetiser for next year's FIFA World Cup™, its sumptuous fare certainly ensured we will be savouring the taste all the way to 2010.

Ultimately, Brazil were worthy winners of a record third trophy. They cruised through Group B with three straight victories, scoring ten times in the process, before a solitary, late Daniel Alves free-kick sunk South Africa in the semi-finals.

Even when we went 2-0 down, we still believed we would win. To come back from this deficit you need a team of men.
Dunga

It was in the decider, however, that A Seleção earned their grandest compliments, combining skill and spirit to prevail. When they went 2-0 down inside half an hour, the omens looked bleak. Brazil had been at a two-goal deficit on four previous occasions under Dunga. They had ended up losers on each of these.

But the 45-year-old's half-time team-talk evidently did the trick. Within seconds, Luis Fabiano had halved the American lead with a well-taken goal. O Fabuloso then restored parity in 74th minute, before Lucio emerged as the unlikely hero six minutes from time to make Dunga the only man to win the FIFA Confederations Cup as a player and coach.

"Like every final, it was very tough. But even when we went 2-0 down, we still believed we would win," said Dunga. "We were very determined. To come back from this deficit you need a team of men. I'm proud of my players."

Lucio and Luis Fabiano, who finished top of the Castrol Index and seized the adidas Golden Shoe respectively, both made handsome contributions to Brazil's conquest, as did Maicon, Robinho and Kaka, who was named Budweiser Man of the Match in the final and pocketed the adidas Golden Ball.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for USA, but they can take tremendous heart from a tournament in which they almost produced the mother of all revivals. Ahead of their arrival, few gave the Americans a chance of reaching the last four. Heading into their final Group B game, seemingly nobody did. They had lost 3-1 to Italy and 3-0 to Brazil and were seemingly devoid of organisation and intuition.

Bob Bradley's side confounded their critics in emphatic fashion, though, overwhelming an in-form Egypt team 3-0 to snatch a place in the semi-finals, before inflicting a first defeat in 36 games upon Spain. Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan, both of whom excelled during the competition, then gave the US a two-goal lead against Brazil, before the aforementioned comeback.

The experience in South Africa has been very special. It's something we'll remember and use as motivation to be back next year.
Bob Bradley

"The feeling is of great disappointment, but also of great pride," reflected Bradley. "The experience for our players in South Africa has been very special. It's something we'll remember and use as motivation to be back here next year for the World Cup."

Although bronze, courtesy of a 3-2 reverse of South Africa, was less than Spain expected, the European champions did have their moments. Xavi, David Villa and Fernando Torres helped them illuminate the first phase, in which the last of their three successes took them on to 15 straight victories, an all-time record in international football, and 35 matches without defeat, which tied the unsurpassed sequence Brazil recorded between 1993 and 1996.

Italy's only reason for cheer came in their first outing, a 3-1 comeback win over USA which included two marvelous goals from substitute Giuseppe Rossi. From there it was all downhill for Marcello Lippi's side, who lost 1-0 to Egypt and 3-0 to Brazil. The former of these results was the first defeat Gli Azzurri had suffered by African opposition, and the Pharaohs also impressed in a 4-3 loss to Brazil in which Mohamed Aboutrika and Mohamed Zidan shone.

New Zealand were another team to triumph in elimination, drawing 0-0 with Iraq for their first point at a senior men's FIFA finals at the 12th time of asking. The Asian champions had done themselves credit by holding South Africa and only losing 1-0 to a Spain side top of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.

South Africa also had grand cause for celebration. The country conclusively proved itself capable of staging a major competition. Its national team proved itself capable of swimming with the big guns. Indeed, inspired by Teko Modise, Steven Pienaar and Bernard Parker, Bafana Bafana reached the semi-finals, where they gave the eventual champions a stern examination before losing 3-2 to Spain in extra time in the third-place play-off.

There can only be one champion, but this year's FIFA Confederations Cup had multiple winners. Among them, indubitably, were South Africa and the supporters it treated to a wonderful spectacle.

MATCHES

Tournament News

FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009™

Castrol Index: Lucio's late charge

Lucio's love affair with the FIFA Confederations Cup is fast becoming one of world football's great romances. This was the Brazil centre-half's fourth Festival of Champions - only Dida has played in more - and scoring a dramatic winner to seal lift his first trophy as Selecao captain provided a climax almost too perfect to be true. That, however, wasn't to be the end of Lucio's South Africa 2009 story. Instead, he today receives an honour that, though far from undeserved, is sure to be unexpected: winner of the FIFA Confederations Cup Castrol Index. This innovative system, which uses the latest technology to objectively analyse and rank player performances, had been dominated by Spain's front two from the first round, with Lucio nowhere to be seen in the top 20 until the final round of group matches. Even then, he entered at No16, and his subsequent progress was only sufficient to see him climb five places to 11th after the semi-final win over South Africa. So how did he emerge as South Africa 2009's statistical king, seeing off the likes of long-term leader David Villa and adidas Golden Ball winner Kaka? The answer, according to Castrol Performance Analysts, is that the Brazil captain produced one of the performances of the tournament against USA, one that ranked alongside Giuseppe Rossi's rescuing of Italy against the Americans and Fernando Torres' one-man demolition of New Zealand at the top of the statistical standings. Lucio's ‘score' of 1551 from the final ended up hefty enough to inch him ahead of team-mate Kaka, whose Castrol rating was adversely affected by some lax defensive moments, including his failure to track Landon Donovan's run at USA's second goal. Dempsey denied as O Fabuloso climbsDespite earning plus points for some impressive creative play, Kaka actually dropped a place, slipping to third behind the Americans' South Africa 2009 talisman, Clint Dempsey. Outstanding against both Egypt and Spain, the Fulham midfielder was found by Castrol to be USA's second-most effective outfield player in the final behind Landon Donovan, outscoring Kaka and only losing out on top spot due to Lucio's inspirational display. The Brazil captain earned credit throughout the tournament for his impressive attacking endeavours and saved the best for last, with his bullet header completing a stirring comeback started by the deadly Luis Fabiano. The tournament's top scorer climbed from tenth to fifth on the back of his final heroics and may well have threatened Lucio but for the damaging legacy of a poor showing against USA during the group stage. With names such as Torres, Maicon, Capdevila and Aboutrika all featuring prominently, the Castrol Index's top 20 offers a statistical representation of South Africa 2009 that, for many, will fit closely with what they witnessed on the pitch. Some, of course, will wonder why their own particular favourite does not feature, and perhaps the most obvious absentee is the tournament's adidas Golden Glove winner, Tim Howard. The USA keeper made 33 saves during the tournament, almost twice as many as his nearest rival, but he also conceded more goals than any other keeper and his overall score paid the price for a disappointing opening showing against Italy. Castrol ranked Howard as South Africa 2009's second-best keeper, behind Mohamed Kassid, the Iraq No1 whose outstanding displays ensured the Asian champions conceded just one goal during their three matches. Have Your Say Castrol have named their top player. But who is yours? Just click ‘Add your comment' to share your views with the world.

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Tournament News

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 25: Lucio of Brazil looks on prior to the FIFA Confederations Cup Semi Final match beween Brazil and South Africa at Ellis Park on June 25, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28: Brazil captain Lucio celebrates after scoring the winning goal during the FIFA Confederations Cup Final between USA and Brazil at the Ellis Park Stadium on June 28, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Jeff Mitchell - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 25: Lucio of Brazil celebrates his team's victory at the end of the FIFA Confederations Cup Semi Final match beween Brazil and South Africa at Ellis Park on June 25, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Vladimir Rys/Getty Images)
BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 15: Lucio of Brazil in action during the FIFA Confederations Cup match between Brazil and Egypt at The Free State Stadium on June 15, 2009 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28: Luis Fabiano (L) of Brazil poses with the adidas Silver Ball awarded to the second most outstanding player of the tournament and the adidas Golden Shoe awarded for the tournaments top scorer, as team mate Kaka poses with the adidas Golden Ball awarded to the most outstanding player of the tournament at the end of the FIFA Confederations Cup Final between USA and Brazil at the Ellis Park Stadium on June 28, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28: Kaka of Brazil poses with the trophy and the adidas Golden Ball awarded for the outstanding player of the tournament at the end of the FIFA Confederations Cup Final between USA and Brazil at the Ellis Park Stadium on June 28, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28: Lucio of Brazil kisses the trophy following his team's victory at the end of the FIFA Confederations Cup Final between USA and Brazil at the Ellis Park Stadium on June 28, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Luis Fabiano of Brazil celebrates the adidas Golden Shoe trophy after Brazil's victory over the USA in the FIFA Confederations Cup Final match between USA and Brazil at Ellis Park Stadium on June 28, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28: Lucio of Brazil lifts the trophy as his team mates celebrate following their victory at the end of the FIFA Confederations Cup Final between USA and Brazil at the Ellis Park Stadium on June 28, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28: Robinho (L) of Brazil and team mate Andre Santos celebrate following their team's victory at the end of the FIFA Confederations Cup Final between USA and Brazil at the Ellis Park Stadium on June 28, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28: Lucio of Brazil lifts the trophy as his team mates celebrate following their victory at the end of the FIFA Confederations Cup Final between USA and Brazil at the Ellis Park Stadium on June 28, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28: Kaka of Brazil celebrates following his team's victory at the end of the FIFA Confederations Cup Final between USA and Brazil at the Ellis Park Stadium on June 28, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28: Kaka and Daniel Alves of Brazil celebrate their team's victory at the end of the FIFA Confederations Cup Final between USA and Brazil at the Ellis Park Stadium on June 28, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28: Luis Fabiano of Brazil celebrates scoring his team's first goal with team mate Kaka during the FIFA Confederations Cup Final between USA and Brazil at the Ellis Park Stadium on June 28, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28: Luis Fabiano celebrates with his team mate Felipe Melo after scoring the equalising goal for Brazil during the FIFA Confederations Cup Final between USA and Brazil at the Ellis Park Stadium on June 28, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28: Luis Fabiano of Brazil celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the FIFA Confederations Cup Final between USA and Brazil at the Ellis Park Stadium on June 28, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28: Itumeleng Khune of South Africa celebrates his team's first goal during the FIFA Confederations Cup 3rd Place Playoff between Spain and South Africa at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 28, 2009 in Rustenburg, South Africa. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28: Daniel Guiza of Spain celebrates with his team mates after scoring his team's second goal during the FIFA Confederations Cup 3rd Place Playoff between Spain and South Africa at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 28, 2009 in Rustenburg, South Africa. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28: Katlego Mphela (R) of South Africa celebrates after scoring the first goal with Kagisho Evidence Dikgacoi during the FIFA Confederations Cup 3rd Place Playoff match between Spain and South Africa at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 28, 2009 in Rustenburg, South Africa. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
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BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 20: South African fans cheer during the FIFA Confederations Cup match between Spain and South Africa at the Free State stadium on June 19, 2009 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Tournaments

South African fans


JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 25:  Steven Pienaar of South Africa looks to the heavens prior to the FIFA Confederations Cup Semi Final match beween Brazil and South Africa at Ellis Park on June 25, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Tournaments

Brazil-South Africa: highlights



BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 24: Fernando Torres of Spain is consoled by goalie Tim Howard #1 of USA during the FIFA Confederations Cup Semi Final match between Spain and USA at the Free State Stadium on June 24, 2009 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Tournaments

FCC: Fernando Torres (ESP)



BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 24: Clint Dempsey of the USA celebrates the second goal during the FIFA Confederations Cup Semi Final match between Spain and USA at Free State Stadium on June 24, 2009 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Tournaments

Budweiser Man of the Match (ESP - USA): Clint Dempsey (USA)



USA fans sporting their national flag and a picture of US President Barack Obama show their support during the FIFA Confederations Cup Semi-final between Spain and USA at the Free State Stadium on 24 June, 2009 in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Tournaments

Spain - USA: the fans

Tournament News

EAST HARTFORD, CT - OCTOBER 10: Landon Donovan #10 of the United States looks on against Ecuador during an international friendly at Rentschler Field on October 10, 2014 in East Hartford, Connecticut.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

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KIEV, UKRAINE - JULY 01: Fernando Torres of Spain celebrates scoring his side's third goal  during the UEFA EURO 2012 final match between Spain and Italy at the Olympic Stadium on July 1, 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009™

El Niño's amazing hat-trick

18 Jun 2013

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28: Lucio of Brazil kisses the trophy following his team's victory at the end of the FIFA Confederations Cup Final between USA and Brazil at the Ellis Park Stadium on June 28, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009™

Brazil make history with stirring comeback

16 Jun 2013

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28: Lucio of Brazil lifts the trophy as his team mates celebrate following their victory at the end of the FIFA Confederations Cup Final between USA and Brazil at the Ellis Park Stadium on June 28, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Jeff Mitchell - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009™

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16 Jun 2013