Confederations Cup: Spain vs. Uruguay Players to Watch

This year’s Confederations Cup in Brazil starts with one of the best matchups in the draw: Uruguay vs. Spain; the defending Copa America champions versus the World Cup and two-time defending European Cup champions. With star studded lineups on both ends of the pitch, this match is sure to be a fantastic spectacle of football and one that will hopefully get the world even more excited for next summer’s World Cup.

While the winner of the Confederations Cup is not necessarily the determination of who will win the World Cup, it will give a certain amount of notice as to which teams are contenders and which teams still need work. As we saw in the 2009 Confederations Cup, amazing things can happen (USA beating Spain and narrowly losing the final to Brazil 3-2), but this type of thing can also be misleading as only a fraction of next summer’s draw competes in this summer’s Cup. Nevertheless, whenever international football takes center stage there are fireworks and there can be no better way to start it off than Uruguay vs. Spain.

Let’s take a look at some of the key players to watch.

Luis Suarez

After a fantastic season was marred by his notorious bite and subsequent 10-match ban, Liverpool Luis Suarez has been under the microscope. Suarez has told media sources that the British media has been unfair and that it has tormented him and his family so much that he would like to leave Liverpool. The Uruguayan striker has publicly announced his desire to join Real Madrid, but nothing is official at this point. For now, Suarez will try to put off-the-field issues aside as his Uruguay team prepares for a run in this year’s Confederations Cup.

The first test will be a tough one against reigning World Cup and two-time European Cup champion Spain. Due to Spain’s ability to keep possession, Suarez will have to take his scoring opportunities when he gets them because they could be few and far between. However, Uruguay is nothing to sneeze at with some of the best players in the world and is the reigning Copa America champions from 2011. Luis Suarez will have to be at his best against the Spanish if Uruguay wants any chance of victory, but then again, he usually is.

David Villa

Since returning from injury this season at Barcelona, David Villa showed once again why he is Spain’s all-time leading goal scorer in international play. With 53 goals in 88 caps for Spain, Villa has proven to be lethal, just as he has been for Barcelona for so many years. Against a tough and feisty Uruguay side, Villa will have to be smart in how he plays and will probably look to move off the ball more rather than get into one-on-one physical battles. From the left forward position, Villa is deadly and with such great playmakers around him, look for number seven to have a big impact not only against Uruguay, but also throughout the tournament.

Pique

After a relatively disappointing season at center back for Barcelona, Pique will try to get his mojo back at this summer’s Confederations Cup. With little to no help on defense for Barcelona all season, thanks to injuries and what not, Pique should have a solid partner in Sergio Ramos at center back during the Cup. Pique and Ramos have shown well together in qualifying matches so far, but will face a tough test against the likes of Luis Suarez, Edison Cavani, and Uruguay in their first match. Pique must use his strength and poise to nullify Uruguay’s attack and will rely heavily on the ability of Spain to keep possession as a main defense.

Edison Cavani

With rumors flying concerning Edison Cavani’s club future at Napoli and beyond, the striker, much like his counterpart Suarez, will have to try to keep off-the-field issues off the field. As a dynamic striker and goal scorer, Cavani is a key to Uruguay’s success against Spain. He has the size and skill to challenge the strong Spanish defenders and with a partner like Suarez, Cavani becomes even more dangerous. With the quickness, technical ability, and savvy that Suarez brings, Cavani adds size, toughness, and aerial ability, which is a lethal combination for any defense to deal with. It will be interesting to see how Uruguay plays Cavani whether as an outright striker or dropped a bit into midfield, but either way, he will be a key player to watch against Spain.

Cesc Fábregas

After confirming publicly that he has no intention of leaving Barcelona, Cesc Fábregas will attempt to make another public statement on the field with Spain in the Confederations Cup. As mainly a midfielder/drop forward for Barcelona, Fábregas usually plays higher up during international duty. With Fernando Torres out of form and out of favor, Spain have recently played with a six midfielder set that allows for the higher midfielders, in this case Fábregas, Silva, and Iniesta, to play in more of a striking role. While Iniesta may be the most talented of the bunch, Fábregas brings a slightly different dimension with his toughness and passing ability that makes Spain an absolute nightmare to defend. Uruguay has some very tough midfielders and some very strong defenders so it will be interesting to see how Fábregas and company responds.

1 Comment on "Confederations Cup: Spain vs. Uruguay Players to Watch"

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  1. Ahmad zaki says:

    Luis suarez wld b hapiest finally.he has 2 sell himself 2 de spanish giant,realmadrid.

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