Brazil’s bid for a third straight FIFA Confederations Cup title continues with a semi-final against Uruguay in Belo Horizonte on Wednesday.
The hosts have featured in the showpiece of the intercontinental competition on four previous occasions, but are sure to be tested when they aim to reach a fifth at the Estadio Mineirao.
They face a Uruguay side whose place in the competition was assured by victory at the 2011 Copa America – a tournament which Brazil exited at the quarter-final stage.
However, the two teams have enjoyed vastly different fortunes since then, with Uruguay struggling in World Cup qualifying and Brazil already assured of their place by virtue of their status as hosts.
Oscar Tabarez’s men had lost five of their last 10 fixtures in the run up to the Confederations Cup, winning just three in the process.
But 2-1 and 8-0 wins over Nigeria and Tahiti respectively sealed their place in the last four, in spite of a 2-1 defeat at the hands of world champions Spain.
Brazil, meanwhile, have cruised through on home soil, beating Mexico, Japan and Italy to grab a semi-final berth.
Three goals from Neymar in as many games have provided the foundations for those successes, with the Barcelona new-boy underlining his credentials on the international stage with some excellent performances.
Uruguay boast a superstar of their own ahead of the clash, however, in the form of three-goal Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.
The 26-year-old became his country’s all-time leading goalscorer by notching twice against Tahiti – overtaking Diego Forlan, who regained his outright lead with a goal earlier in the tournament against Nigeria – and will be keen to extend his new-found advantage with goals against Brazil.
The teams last met in June 2009, with Brazil running out 4-0 winners away from home in a World Cup qualifying clash.
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