By Harutyun Tsatryan
Europe’s champions vs. South America’s “heroes”
The final stage of the playoffs for the Cup of Confederations has kicked off, and the first Portugal-Chile match of the semi-final will be held in Kazan.

Portugal, Europe’s champion, will put its strengths to the test with Copa America’s Champion, the Chilean team at Kazan Arena, which is the major stadium in Tatarstan. Both the winning and losing teams will continue the struggle. While the winning team will play I the final to be held in Saint Petersburg, the losing team will play for 3rd place during the championship at Spartak Arena in Moscow.

Neither Chile nor Portugal has experience in playing at the finals. Both teams are newcomers at the play-offs for the Cup of Confederations. However, being inexperienced is one of the major problems for Europe’s champion. Before the match, Portugal’s chief coach Fernandu Santus expressed confidence that even lack of experience can be forgotten during the Cup of Confederations, if the team plays with devotion. “The boys played in the previous matches with devotion, and this helped them achieve heights. Chile is strong. The team especially played as a cooperative team, and all the football players were devoted to accomplishing their major goal. We are like that too. We are ready for the competition.”

Like Portugal, Chile will also be playing the second match in Kazan. Both teams tied their matches at Kazan Arena. Portugal didn’t win Mexico, and Chile lost to Germany.

The Chileans’ chief coach, Juan Antonio Pizzi is certain that his team’s top players will be able to score points since the team has come to Russia to win. “Chile is the main contender for victory at this championship for many people, but football is a team sport. The team that is more prepared for the match wins. Contenders often lose.”

For fans, the Portugal-Chile match is also interesting in terms of conflicts. Portugal’s top player Ronaldo will face off against goalie Claudio Bravo, who used to play for the Catalonian Barcelona, which is the major rival of Madrid’s Real. Chile’s top attacker Alexis Sanchez has also played for Barcelona, but in this championship, he still hasn’t shined the way the Chileans expect him to shine.

The first semi-final match of the play-offs for the Cup of Confederations has sparked great interest in Tatarstan and all of Russia. The tribunes are expected to be packed during the match, and it is foreseen that this will ensure the corresponding environment that the Russians still dream about. Most matches of the championship are held in stadiums that are 78-80% packed.