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Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-24-march-2-football-soccer-players-teams-022414 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/24/022414-Rumor-Mill-GUNDO-GONE-DG-PI_20140224164223176_136_102.JPG
Americans Abroad - Feb. 21-23 Review the top Americans that can take their talents overseas this year. /foxsoccer/usa/lists/americans-abroad-feb-21-23-performances-players-overseas-022314 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/23/022314-SOCCE-forget-me-not-PI_2014022319021849_136_102.JPG
FOX Soccer Power Rankings - Feb. 21-28 FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Paris Saint-Germain return to top five after crushing Champions League win /foxsoccer/world/lists/power-rankings-february-21-28-paris-saint-germain-return-to-top-five-after-crushing-win-022114 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/21/drasticjump-pi_20140221180930519_136_102.JPG
Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 17-23 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-17-23-football-soccer-players-teams-021714 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/17/021714-SOCCER-Shock-Waves-HF-PI_20140217182428996_136_102.JPG
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World 2018 43 Best moments from the 2013 Confederations Cup group stage 31834661 Summer of fun Summer+of+fun World

The Confederations Cup takes a break for two days to prepare for two epic semifinal showdowns: Brazil take on Uruguay here Wednesday while Spain play Italy in Fortaleza the following night. The group stages offered up many memories – here’s a look back at our highlights so far.

 

--Jamie Trecker

Laurence Griffiths - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G11_20130623164031104_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G11_20130623164031104_107_80.JPG
World 2018 43 Best moments from the 2013 Confederations Cup group stage 31834662 Bigger cause Bigger+cause World

This is the story of the entire tournament. Brazil’s middle-class has woken up to the fact that they’ve been fleeced. These big stadiums cost a lot of money that could have gone into fixing, say, the cracked sidewalks or non-existent clean water supplies across this vast nation. $500m for a stadium?

 

Ridiculous, considering that the average Brazilian gets by on $300 a month. Corruption and malfeasance have been taken for granted for too long in this country, and people have slept through the looting. No more. Apparently, all it took was a soccer tournament to wake them up.

Silvia Izquierdo - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G10_20130623164024101_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G10_20130623164024101_107_80.JPG
World 2018 43 Best moments from the 2013 Confederations Cup group stage 31834660 Goal-line technology Goal-line+technology World

Did you notice it? Neither did we. That’s a good thing.

Laurence Griffiths - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G9_2013062316401699_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G9_2013062316401699_107_80.JPG
World 2018 43 Best moments from the 2013 Confederations Cup group stage 31834658 The second half of Brazil-Italy The+second+half+of+Brazil-Italy World

OK, so our refs from Uzbekistan made a few mistakes… on three goals. Nonetheless, the second half was a sizzler, with Neymar, Balotelli and Fred all sparkling on the stage. More halves of soccer like this one, please. And on that note…

JUAN BARRETO/AFP - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G8_2013062316401396_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G8_2013062316401396_107_80.JPG
World 2018 43 Best moments from the 2013 Confederations Cup group stage 31834659 Open, attacking play Open%2C+attacking+play World

The good thing about this tournament is that teams have declined to sit back and absorb, absorb. Instead, everyone from Spain to Tahiti to Italy – Italy!! -- have taken the field and simply gone for it.

 

It’s refreshing to see teams trying to win games instead of sitting back and playing not to lose. We hope this trend continues right through next year’s World Cup.

EITAN ABRAMOVICH/AFP - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G7_2013062316401497_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G7_2013062316401497_107_80.JPG
World 2018 43 Best moments from the 2013 Confederations Cup group stage 31834654 How Torres found his groove back How+Torres+found+his+groove+back World

Is this really the same Fernando Torres? The one who was so useless at Chelsea that even his most insistent defenders wanted him shipped out at cut-rate? Believe it. He’s netted five so far this tournament and is on course to become this tournament’s all-time scoring leader.

 

He exploded for four against Tahiti, but really staked his claim with a fierce, clattering header to seal Spain’s place in the semifinals with a 3-0 win over Nigeria. Torres looks like he may be back to being the striker of old. And if that’s the case, Spain are more dangerous than ever.

Felipe Dana - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G6_2013062316395390_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G6_2013062316395390_107_80.JPG
World 2018 43 Best moments from the 2013 Confederations Cup group stage 31834655 Clinical work Clinical+work World

Speaking of Pirlo, his clinic against Mexico in the opener was a reminder that age is just a number. The Juventus man, 34, simply tore apart El Tri with a passing display that showed just how classy a player he remains. And Pirlo’s goal – a brilliant free kick that is arguably the best strike of the tournament – reminded everyone in Milan just what they gave up by letting him move on to Turin. If this is Pirlo’s swan song, then it’s a fitting one for man who just picked up his 100th cap with the Azzurri.

Felipe Dana - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G5_2013062316395392_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G5_2013062316395392_107_80.JPG
World 2018 43 Best moments from the 2013 Confederations Cup group stage 31834653 Superior complex Superior+complex World

The Incredible Sulk is no more. Liberated from Manchester City, Balotelli is playing like a man back in love with the game. He’s not only scoring goals, he’s setting them up for others: witness his back-heel against Brazil to spring Emanuele Giaccherini. He’s scored only twice, but he has set up several others and been one of the sparks for Italy in this tournament.

 

Moreover, his famous temper has been kept in check. It seems like “Super Mario” might have finally come of age and grown up. It may be heresy to say this, but he is in the running for Italy’s MVP, even edging out Andrea Pirlo.

CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G4_2013062316395391_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G4_2013062316395391_107_80.JPG
World 2018 43 Best moments from the 2013 Confederations Cup group stage 31834652 Prodigy at work Prodigy+at+work World

Three games, three fabulous goals. A host of Neymar-doubters – folks who didn’t think this Brazilian prodigy was all he was billed to be – are now eating crow. His play took the hosts into semifinals and right now, he’s showing the world that he has all the tools.

 

Best moment? How about that sublime free-kick he powered right past Gigi Buffon into Italy’s net? If he stays this hot, the question won’t be how much he can help Lionel Messi at Barcelona. It will be: is he better than Messi?

Fernando Llano - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G3_2013062316395289_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G3_2013062316395289_107_80.JPG
World 2018 43 Best moments from the 2013 Confederations Cup group stage 31834657 Tahiti Tahiti World

The feel-good story of the Cup. One professional player, nine unemployed men and a go-for-broke style of play that won the hearts of fans everywhere. Sure, they set a tournament record for goals conceded (24) and sure, they were wildly out of their depth. But they were a classy bunch, and their opponents noted that, declining to celebrate any of the (many) goals they slotted in. And how about Jonathan Tehau? He became a national hero when he scored against Nigeria, and started a craze for “canoe” celebrations across the planet.

 

Tahiti may not be able to defend, but they know how to leave a room: they brought the house down when they took the field in Recife with a giant banner that thanked the hosts, in Portuguese, for their support.

Felipe Dana - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G2_2013062316395494_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G2_2013062316395494_107_80.JPG
World 2018 43 Best moments from the 2013 Confederations Cup group stage 31834656 Japan v Italy Japan+v+Italy World

Unquestionably the best match of the tournament, this was a 4-3 firecracker with three lead changes and a hell-for leather attitude that surprised even the most jaded observers. Italy came looking tired and jaded, and the Japanese rang rings around them early on through Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa.

 

But class shows, and Italy clawed back after the half thanks to the magnificence of Mario Balotelli. The result eliminated a battling Japanese side, to our detriment: they thrilled all of us at this Cup.

Eugene Hoshiko - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G1_2013062316395493_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/06/23/062313-SOCCER-confed-things-to-watch-LN-G1_2013062316395493_107_80.JPG
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http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/24/022414-Rumor-Mill-GUNDO-GONE-DG-PI_20140224164223176_136_102.JPG Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds... Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. Robin van Persie's rumored return to Arsenal would be beyond controversial in many ways. Feb 26, 2014 8:47 AM ET 1 6 /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-24-march-2-football-soccer-players-teams-022414
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/23/022314-SOCCE-forget-me-not-PI_2014022319021849_136_102.JPG Americans Abroad - Feb. 21-23 Review the top Americans that can take their... Review the top Americans that can take their talents overseas this year. Familiar faces may rejoin United States men's national team conversation. Feb 25, 2014 2:41 AM ET 1 6 /foxsoccer/usa/lists/americans-abroad-feb-21-23-performances-players-overseas-022314
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/21/drasticjump-pi_20140221180930519_136_102.JPG FOX Soccer Power Rankings - Feb. 21-28 FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Paris Saint-Germai... FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Paris Saint-Germain return to top five after crushing Champions League win Giant thumping brings Ibrahimovic and Co. back to our top ten list. Feb 22, 2014 1:50 PM ET 1 6 /foxsoccer/world/lists/power-rankings-february-21-28-paris-saint-germain-return-to-top-five-after-crushing-win-022114
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/17/021714-SOCCER-Shock-Waves-HF-PI_20140217182428996_136_102.JPG Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 17-23 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds... Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. Robin van Persie's rumored return to Arsenal would be beyond controversial in many ways. Feb 20, 2014 10:42 AM ET 1 6 /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-17-23-football-soccer-players-teams-021714