Two completely different sets of players, representing two different Worlds of football, take on each other tonight. The Spanish side, representing the glamorous European football, and Brasilia, representing the intense and passionate South American brand. The former believes in ruling possession of the ball, making their opponents work and tire out, then finding chinks in the enemy lines. The latter believes in box-to-box stuff, creating chinks themselves in enemy lines with the pace and passion we have come to associate with Brazilian football. Spain are technically gifted, Brazil enormously talented.
Spain’s style of football, with their patient passing, has often been termed boring, sometimes even ugly. But it is efficient. And it works for them. It is no football fluke that they have won consecutive World and European titles, and they will be looking to add this elusive trophy to their brimming cabinet.
Brazil is a team of fresh young blood, tipped to mark a new Brazilian era in World football. And the Samba boys are eager to get started on a magnificent journey.
At the individual level too, an interesting scenario will develop. The Spanish centre backs Pique and Ramos, will be keeping a keen eye on Neymar, not only to keep his quick feet from tearing through, but also because come August, for one he would be the comrade, for the other, enemy number one.
All in all, it would be a riveting battle, one that I will not miss (even though it’ll keep me up till 5 in the morning) !