Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 12th 2013 Contents A53
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City took its offseason spending
to around $70 million by signing
winger Jesus Navas from Sevilla
The 27-year-old Spain
international signed for City for
an initial fee reported to be 14.9
million pounds ($23.2 million), and
a contract which British media
said will run for four years.
City is strengthening the squad
after the Premier League trophy
was surrendered last month to
Navas's move comes about a
week after Brazil midfielder
Fernandinho signed for the club
for a fee estimated at 30 million
pounds ($47 million).
"Manchester City is an exciting
project and this is the right
moment for me to take this step,"
Navas said yesterday.
"The Premier League is a
competition where the football is
very fast and will suit the way I
play. I'm really looking forward to
it," he added. "I'm going to a great
club in England and I want to
continue developing my game
there. The club has put a lot of
faith in me and I want to repay
them out on the pitch."
Navas has spent his entire career
with Sevilla, twice winning the
UEFA Cup and gaining Champions
League experience in 2009. (AP)
City signs Jesus Navas from Sevilla
RIO DE JANEIRO---On the field, the Con-
federations Cup can give Brazil s national
team a major boost in its quest to win a sixth
World Cup title next year. Off the field, the
eight-team tournament will offer the first
hints about where the country stands in its
preparations for the main event in 2014.
Brazil has won the last two Confederations
Cup titles---in 2005 and 2009. And while
expectations will be predictably high for this
month s tournament, they won t be anywhere
near the pressure the team will face in 12
months, when Brazil will try to avoid losing
the World Cup on home soil.
"Yes it is a lot of responsibility, but a dream
come true," Brazil striker Neymar said. "(But)
you don t have to think that wearing the
yellow shirt is a heavy burden. You have to
wear it as if you were playing in your own
yard. Just be happy."
At the Confederations Cup, Brazil will play
alongside defending world champion Spain,
Italy, Uruguay, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria and
Tahiti---combining to bring plenty of star
power in the form of Neymar, Italy striker
Mario Balotelli and Spain s midfield duo of
Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez.
From President Dilma Rousseff on down,
Brazilians are hoping the Confederations Cup
will avoid major organisational glitches and
instead spotlight high-quality football at six
new or renovated stadiums that will host the
two-week event, which opens on Saturday
with Brazil facing Japan in the new national
stadium in Brasilia.
"It s an important competition. There are
four world champions and an Olympic cham-
pion there," Spain Coach Vicente del Bosque
said. "We have to have people who are
absolutely delighted to be included in the
Group A features Brazil, Japan, Mexico and
Italy, with Group B counting Spain, Uruguay,
Nigeria and Tahiti. The top two in each group
reach the semifinals.
Rousseff has visited the six Confederations
Cup venues and boasted about the "beauty
and modernity" of the stadiums.
"Many people did not think we would be
able to build these stadiums before the Con-
federations Cup at the standards required by
Fifa," Rousseff said, making reference to the
"old-mutt" complex, a sense that Brazil lacked
confidence and would fail to meet the chal-
"But the workers who built these stadiums,
the businessmen hired to do these works and
all the governments involved have proved that
Brazil is able to accept challenges and fulfill
promptly commitments undertaken."
In something of a bad omen, the day that
Rousseff spoke a small part of the roof at the
stadium in Salvador---a Confederations Cup
venue---collapsed under the weight of heavy
rainfall. There were no injuries.
Fifa and local organisers called the event
"an isolated incident."
The jury will be out until the Confederations
Cup ends with the final on June 30 at Rio s
renovated Maracana Stadium---the venue for
the final match of the 1950 World Cup, won
2-1 by Uruguay over Brazil.
The six stadiums have all faced delays, and
last-minute problems are expected.
Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke has
angered Brazil officials, repeatedly scolding
them in public about getting things done on
time. And he has acknowledged "not all oper-
ational arrangements will be 100 percent,"
warning "this will be impossible to repeat for
the Fifa World Cup."
Six more stadiums must be finished for the
World Cup, and Valcke has set the deadline
for all to be completed by December 31. He
threatened to scratch Brazil s largest city, Sao
Paulo, from the calendar if its new stadium
missed the deadline.
Brazil is spending an estimated $3.5 billion
on its World Cup venues. It also must upgrade
its transportation infrastructure. Telecom-
munications and hotels also need upgrading,
and the high cost of almost everything will
shock first-time visitors.
The country also is being criticised for
building "white elephant" football stadiums
in at least three places---in Brasilia, in Manaus
in the northern state of Amazonas, and in
Cuiaba in the southwest. All lack local teams,
or lack a team in Brazil s top league.
Jose Maria Marin, the president of the
Brazilian Football Confederation, was asked
recently why 12 venues were needed --- and
whether they would indeed become "white
"It will all depend on the creativity, the
imagination of the owners and the operators
of these stadiums," Marin replied. "It will
depend on the imagination of each leader."
Rousseff said the venues, even without soc-
cer, were justified.
"In addition to football matches, they will
also receive great shows and events, and will
have shops, restaurants, cultural venues, muse-
ums and halls," she said. "They will be the
new leisure space for the population."
Some of the heat will be off if Brazil wins
the Confederations Cup, and things run
smoothly. The national team, often considered
the world s best, has slumped in the Fifa rank-
ings, far behind No 1 Spain, No 2 Germany
and No 3 Argentina. Teams such as Greece,
Switzerland and Belgium rank ahead of Brazil,
and Denmark and Bosnia-Herzegovina are
"I m sure Brazil will shine on and off the
field," Rousseff said. "Let s show those who
follow the games---international and national
tourists, players and technical staff---that we
are a joyful and peaceful country. I m sure
all who come to visit us will fall in love and
will want to return for the World Cup next
Brazil to test readiness at Confed Cup
Brazil's Lucio, centre, holds up the Confederations Cup trophy with
fellow team members after defeating the US in their Confederations
Cup final football match at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg,
South Africa on June 28, 2009. Brazil has won the last two
Confederations Cup titles in 2005 and 2009. And while expectations
will be predictably high this month, it won't be anywhere near the
pressure the team will face in 12 months, when Brazil will try to
avoid losing a second World Cup on home soil. AP PHOTO
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