Confederations Cup fantasy thoughts

Posted by John Culea

Brazil's 3-0 dominating victory over Spain Sunday brought to an end a highly entertaining Confederations Cup and a chance for Premier League fantasy managers to see at least 16 players who will be in the mix for squad selection when ESPNFC's fantasy game launches in August.

Jasper Juinen/Getty ImagesBrazil's David Luiz and Julio Cesar won a trophy and enhanced their worth in the Confederations Cup.

One relief for Premier League fantasy managers is that none of the players appeared to have suffered a serious injury.

Players who distinguished themselves include:

Julio Cesar, goalkeeper: The Brazilian who will leave QPR, perhaps for Arsenal, was magnificent. He had two clean sheets and won the Golden Glove award.

David Luiz, defender: Chelsea’s good news-bad news defender had his harrowing moments and two yellow cards; however, overall he was tenacious for Brazil, putting the clamps on Fernando Torres and had the clearance of the tournament on Pedro’s all-but-certain goal. Earlier in the tournament he had a broken nose and left blood and sweat on the pitch.

Oscar, midfielder: The Brazilian and Chelsea player had an outstanding tournament with two assists and showed the quality that was under wraps for much of his Premier League play last season. His pass to set up Neymar’s goal was exquisite.

John Obi Mikel, midfielder: The Nigerian, who has not had a Premier League goal in more than five years for Chelsea, actually got one in the net for his country during the tournament and was Nigeria's best player.

Luis Suarez, forward: Three goals for Uruguay (two against awful Tahiti and one against Spain), Suarez played in the shadow of Edinson Cavani, who could move to the Premier League for 2013-14.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, forward: Manchester United's player did his best for Mexico, which went out in a tough group. In three matches, he scored three goals, two against Japan and one against Italy.

Shinji Kagawa, midfielder: The Manchester United player had a goal against Italy and an assist in Japan’s loss to Mexico, but no shots against Brazil.

Players who had mixed performances:

Fernando Torres, forward: The Chelsea striker had five goals for Spain and won the Golden Boot award. Of course, four came against Tahiti. Torres' other goal was against Nigeria and he was an unused substitute against Uruguay. Against Italy and Brazil, Torres mirrored his play for Chelsea and did not last 60 minutes in the final.

Maya Yoshida, defender: The Southampton 24-year-old played three games for Japan and conceded eight goals.

Juan Mata, midfielder: The Chelsea star had a goal and two assists but played only three games for Spain. Good against Italy as a substitute, he was not good in his start against Brazil and came off after 51 minutes. His goal and assists were against Tahiti.

David Silva, midfielder: Manchester City’s Silva had two goals and an assist in the Cup; however, they came against Tahiti. Silva was an unused substitute against Uruguay and Brazil and did not play 60 minutes Nigeria or Italy.

Players who were forgettable:

Santi Cazorla, midfielder: Subbed against Tahiti and Uruguay, the Arsenal sparkplug was an unused substitute in the final for Spain, had no goals nor assists and and got a yellow card.

Nacho Monreal, defender: The Arsenal player was in one game for Spain (the Tahiti 10-0 clean sheet rout) and got an assist. He was an unused sub for four games.

Pepe Reina, goalkeeper: Liverpool’s keeper got Spain's clean sheet against Tahiti in his only appearance in the Cup.

Cesar Azpilicueta, defender: The Chelsea player started against Tahiti and was a sub against Brazil.

Gaston Ramirez, midfielder: The Southampton player had two assists for Uruguay against Tahiti and was subbed out at the half against Spain in his only other game.

Note: Jesus Navas, Spain’s midfielder who has signed with Manchester City, scored the decisive penalty in the shootout against Italy and had looked very good in his three substitute roles, taking seven shots, with four on goal.

ESPN Conversations