Any doubts that Brazil are serious contenders for next year's World Cup were swept away by a majestic 3-0 victory over world champions Spain as they won the Confederations Cup in front of an ecstatic crowd at the Maracana Stadium on Sunday.
Inspired by Neymar and Fred in attack, David Luiz at the back and the indefatigable Paulinho thundering around the midfield, Brazil ended Spain's record run of 29 unbeaten competitive matches and brought back memories of their glory days with their fifth straight win of the tournament.
They began with a scrappy goal from Fred after some shocking Spanish defending in the second minute, went 2-0 ahead when Neymar lashed an unstoppable angled left-foot shot past Iker Casillas a minute before halftime, and wrapped up the match and the title when Fred plundered a third with another angled shot two minutes after the re-start.
Image: Brazil's player celebrates after winning the soccer Confederations Cup final match 3-0 against Spain at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, June 30, 2013. Front row from left to right are: Thiago Silva, Lucas, Neymar, Bernard and Oscar and second row from left, Jadson, Luis Gustavo and Julio Cesar.