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Spain face Brazil in the Confederations Cup Final tonight, and La Roja fullback Alvaro Arbeloa admits South American teams are a problem for the world champions.
La Roja reached the Final with a win over Italy in a penalty shoot-out, while the Selecao needed a late winner from Paulinho to hand them the win over Uruguay.
Italy would have been worthy opponents for the hosts, but while the Azzurri have already played Brazil twice this year, Spain and Brazil have met just once in 23 years.
As Cesc Fabregas points out, “We know that the only thing left for us to do is beat Brazil. If we achieve that we will give ourselves a new challenge to see if we can win the World Cup again.”
The two teams have played each other eight times, with Brazil winning four and Spain two – a friendly in 1990 and in the first round of the 1934 World Cup.
Brazil’s biggest win over Spain is 6-1 in the final round of the 1950 World Cup.
However, Arbeloa remains confident ahead of the match at the Maracana.
“We don’t feel under pressure to win this trophy,” the 30-year-old saus. “It’s the one which we still have yet to win and winning it by beating Brazil in Brazil would just be the icing on the cake.
“South American team tends to give us more problems. They are more hardened, they demand more from us and we struggle more against them. We are more used to facing European teams.
“But we are making history and, for all of us, our biggest motivation is pride.”
The match kicks off at 11PM Nigerian time.
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