Brazil host Uruguay in the first semi-final of the 2013 Confederations Cup today (2:30pm ET on ESPN and WatchESPN), a match which will add a little extra spice to what promises to be an intriguing encounter with a reinvigorated Brazil side, the first meeting between these old rivals since 2009.
The fact there have been no previous encounters between the sides in four years means that many of the players running out at the Mineirao on Wednesday will be facing each other for the first time in their international careers.
The winners of this match will go through to the final to face the winners of the other semi-final, either Spain or Italy.
Uruguay go into the semi-final clash fresh from an 8-0 victory over Tahiti, whilst their opponents have remained unbeaten throughout the tournament, having conceded just two goals.
The two teams are at different stages of their development, with the hosts having a change of personnel in recent times as the emergence of a clutch of players take their first steps onto the international stage, among them Neymar and Oscar.
In contrast, the majority of names in the Uruguay line-up are approaching the twilight of their careers, as Diego Lugano pointed out recently suggesting it could have been the “end for this generation” if the squad failed to qualify for Brazil 2014.
Uruguay striker Abel Hernandez has four goals so far this tournament, leaving him one behind lead goalscorer Fernando Torres, whilst Brazil top goalscorer Neymar has three goals to his tally so far.
Today’s FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final is already labeled one of the world’s biggest rivalries in international football.
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