There were tears rolling down cheeks in Rio de Janeiro last night and for once it wasn’t because of the tear gas. (Although in some streets outside the Maracanã it definitely was.) Fireworks were launched into the air in celebration rather than aimed at military police. Brazil has been an intriguing and chaotic place to be in the last two weeks but there was a sense last night that things were returning to something like normal.
It was the final everyone wanted to see. Brazil had not played Spain since 1999 and you had to go all the way back to 1986 for the last competitive meeting. Brazil had been the elephant in the room during La Roja’s ascent to international football’s top table; if there was plenty of admiration for Xavi et al, there was also an unspoken feeling of, well, they’ve yet to do it against us.
Read the rest of this article, on Brazil's Confederations Cup triumph, on the Mirror website.