The Confederations Cup is a waste of time

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
After an exhausting 59 games, Xavi, the man of the match during last month's European Champions League final, would be forgiven for needing a couple of months break from football.

After an exhausting 59 games, Xavi, the man of the match during last month’s European Champions League final, would be forgiven for needing a couple of months break from football.

It has been a fantastic 2008-09 for the tireless Spanish central midfielder. It all started in June 2008, when he helped Spain to an historic Euro 2008 title. Only 10 months later he had a La Liga, a Copa del Rey and a Champions League medal to add to his collection.

Yet instead of relaxing for a couple of months, preparing to defend his club titles and the dawning of World Cup 2010 on the horizon, Xavi is being exposed to the heat of Southern Africa.

The Confederation’s Cup is a truly pointless competition. It involves the champion’s of each continent, as well as the World Cup holders and the next World Cup hosts. In theory the tournament should provide fans with some great games.

In reality this is simply not the case. The South American champions, European champions and World Cup holders regularly plough through the weaker opposition from Oceania and Asia.

A prime example: Spain versus New Zealand. Less than 17 minutes into the game, Liverpool ace, Fernando Torres had grabbed himself a hat trick and Villa promptly added another before half time. A tame second half followed, with the match ending 5-0 to Spain as they demolished the Kiwi’s.

It highlighted the problem of the tournament. The Confederations Cup is effectively a glorified friendly tournament. It has as much appeal as watching the Emirates Cup every August. Sure, it’s great to see some of football’s global stars but at the end of a tired season, they are far from firing on all cylinders.

In some cases, weakened squads participate, as countries prefer to focus on the World Cup finals a year later. It is also a chance for the host country to do a dress rehearsal, insuring all the necessary requirements are ready, on and off the pitch.

It is also an opportunity for the minnows of the competition to come up against the World’s best teams like Brazil, Spain and Italy. There are the occasional upsets, but the big teams normally overcome the smaller nations with unerring ease.

So as Xavi, Iniesta et al will be running up and down a hard South African pitch sweating in the searing heat, John Terry and his team mates will be resting up. It can surely only be a benefit for the English and Irish squads as many of the World’s top players run themselves into the ground at the Confederations Cup.

Come June 2010, let’s hope the Brazilians, Italians and Spanish will be suffering from a bout of fatigue after a shortened summer break in 2009 and a gruelling fixture list in 2009/10.

And if that doesn’t appease fans, at least a helping of summer football beats beach rugby on Eurosport, even if the games are played generally at a canter.

Follow @thesportreview on Instagram

MORE:

MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

Jermaine Jenas
BT Sport pundit sends message to Chelsea FC board after Bournemouth defeat
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Man United confident of signing quality 19-year-old winger – report
Jurgen Klopp
Xherdan Shaqiri sends message to Liverpool FC boss Jurgen Klopp
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer drops hint about Man United signings in January
Frank Lampard
Chelsea FC could use £3.5m clause to re-sign 22-year-old – report
Owen Hargreaves
Owen Hargreaves predicts where Arsenal and Man United will finish
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Jurgen Klopp
‘He’s one of the best’: Jose Mourinho sends message to Liverpool FC boss Jurgen Klopp
Novak Djokovic
Who plays where ahead of Australian Open? Wawrinka, Sharapova, Djokovic, Nadal, Medvedev first from blocks
Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool FC owner’s wife reacts to the 2-0 win over Watford