The world champions lost a competitive match for the first time in 30 games.
Brazil in the early hours of Monday emerged champions of the FIFA Confederations Cup as they put up a splendid display to defeat World and European Champions, Spain, 3-0, in the final that took place inside the magnificent Maracana Stadium in Rio.
Two goals from Fred and another from Neymar gave the hosts their fifth straight win in the competition as they clinched the trophy for a third time in a row and thus ended their opponents’ three-year record run of 29 unbeaten competitive matches.
It wasn’t a night Spain will love to remember with Sergio Ramos missing a penalty early in the second half and Gerard Pique sent off for an attack on his new Barcelona teammate, Neymar, after 68 minutes.
The Samba Boys had the best start they could wish for when Fred put Brazil ahead after two minutes. Neymar added a second just before halftime and the crowd erupted again when Fred made it 3-0 two minutes after the second half started with his fifth goal of the competition.
Spain were initially bidding to become the first team since Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup’s decisive match to beat Brazil in a competitive international at the Maracana; but after falling behind so early, that never looked likely.
Monday’s victory re-ignited fresh belief that coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who won the World Cup with Brazil on June 30, 2002, could deliver a sixth world in a year’s time.
In the third place match played much earlier, Italy claimed third spot after defeating Uruguay, 3-2, in a penalty shoot-out after both teams ended the 90 minutes and extra time at 2-2.