Confederations Cup a test of the best: Hernandez

Rio de Janeiro, June 14 (IANS) Mexico striker Javier Hernandez says the Confederations Cup will provide his team with a welcome break from their stuttering 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The reigning Concacaf champions play their first match of the Confederations Cup, against Italy at the Maracana stadium Sunday and Hernandez could not hide his eagerness for the event to begin, reports Xinhua.

“We are lucky. We are in one of the most football obsessed countries in the world,” the 25-year-old Manchester United forward said. “It’s something special to be a part of this tournament.”

Mexico were held goalless by Costa Rica Tuesday, leaving Jose Manuel de la Torre’s team clinging to third in the Concacaf standings but having played one more match than their fellow World Cup contenders.

Only the top three teams will progress automatically to the showpiece tournament in Brazil while fourth will play off against Oceania’s top-ranked team New Zealand.

“It is great to be here after playing in the qualifiers,” Hernandez said. “We are going to be playing against some very strong sides which will really test us and show where we are at.”

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