Throughout the campaign, a few under-par performances also raised questions about Pique's future in Catalonia - but he has insisted he does not want to leave and expects to end his career playing for the club he supported as a boy. "Barca are my family, my life," he said. "In life you never know, you cannot say you're not going to do. It's true that [my future] depends on many factors, but come on, the club are my life.
Neymar inspires Brazil to opening win in Confederations Cup against Japan | Football Match report | ESPN.co.uk
Neymar lit up the opening match of the Confederations Cup with a stunning early goal in a 3-0 win for Brazil, but the final scoreline reflected a more laboured victory over Japan than the home fans were hoping for. Neymar rifled in the opening goal in only the third minute but frustration grew from the Brasilia crowd before Paulinho fired in the second early in the second half and Jo wrapped it up with almost the last kick of the game. Barcelona's new signing would exit in the 74th minute after receiving treatment on his back, but the points were already secured.
FIFA Confederations Cup 2013: Spain v Uruguay, Preview and Team News - International Business Times UK
World and European champions Spain play Uruguay in the first Group B match of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. The match is to be played at the Arena Pernambuco in the port city of Recife in Brazil. Vicente Del Bosque's men will consider themselves strong favourites to qualify for the semi-final, particularly with minnows Tahiti still to come. But once in the knock-out stage, Spain will have unfinished business... not only have La Roja never won this title but the last time, in 2009 in South Africa, they were eliminated in the semi-final by the United States.
Torres, 29, who is on international duty at the Confederations Cup,said: "I want to continue at Chelsea. "I want to see out the contract that I signed and continue winning trophies. I want to return to being the best player there is in my position. There is no better place for me to do so than at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho."
Koscielny's representative, Stephane Courbis, told Eurosport France that there has been "no contact" from Barcelona but claimed the 27-year-old centre-back is being targeted by Tito Vilanova's side, along with Champions League holders Bayern. Courbis said: "I know that Laurent is part of a shortlist of three or four players for both clubs."
The exodus of top Spanish players from cash-strapped La Liga is a good thing for the national team but bad for the domestic league, according to Barcelona and Spain defender Gerard Pique. "On the one hand it's good for the national team but on the other it's a little bit bad for La Liga because players are leaving who are from your country," Pique said in an interview with As sports daily published on Sunday.
In Brazil's case, they deployed the world's most dangerous attacking right-back in Dani Alves against Kagawa. This left Japan exposed. While Alves definitely got forward plenty, he actually did sit back a bit more than usual -- at least in comparison to when he's in a FC Barcelona shirt. This very well could have been because he was instructed to be cautious against Japan's most dangerous attacker in Kagawa or it's that he was pinned back somewhat.
Manchester City target Isco has revealed that Real Madrid's Spanish youngsters have been trying to persuade him to join them at the Speaking in Israel where Spain are waiting to play the final of the Under 21 European Championships, Isco said: 'Those [Morata, Nacho and Carvajal] indeed are the guys insisting [for the move to Real Madrid]. We'll see what happens.'
Carlo Ancelotti is counting down the hours until the announcement of his signing for Real Madrid. His wishes may come true very shortly, given that 'Los Blancos' have made a huge step forward in the last few days in the negotiations to seat the Italian manager in the Bernabéu dugout.
This is shaping up as a battle of stamina versus style. Italy no longer exhibits the locked-door, safety-first game of yore as Prandelli has deployed a 3-5-2 and pressed opponents high up the pitch. Mexico don’t have the grace or the experience of the Italians – and to be fair, they don’t get it slogging away in CONCACAF against the likes of Barbados – but their patient, short passing game in a 4-2-3-1 has worked against sides that chose to play them straight up. Intriguingly, Mexico struggles against sides that sit deep and wait – meaning that if Italy revert to their old style, El Tri could be in for a long night.