Also known as the the Tournament of Champions, the FIFA Confederations Cup is a dress rehersal for the World Cup holding the year after. It is a tournament that brings together the champions of the six confederations registered under FIFA.
The tournament this time around goes to Russia as they are the host of the World Cup holding next year. Here we take a quick look at how the participating teams qualified and the key players to watch out for.
Russia: Qualified as host
Qualified: 2 December 2010
The Sbornaya qualified for their first FIFA Confederations Cup as hosts, when they were chosen to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, almost seven years ago
Player(s) to watch: Igor AKINFEEV
Germany: Qualified as winners of FIFA World Cup 2014
Qualified: 13 July 2014
Germany reached Russia 2017 after their dramatic 1-0 victory against Argentina in the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ Final, with Mario Gotze’s extra time wundertor the decider.
Player(s) to watch: Julian DRAXLER, Leroy SANE
Australia: Qualified as winners of 2015 Asian Cup
Qualified: 31 January 2015
Australia reached their first Confederations Cup as an AFC member after winning the 2015 AFC Asian Cup on home soil, defeating Korea Republic in the final in extra time in Sydney.
Player(s) to watch: Tim CAHILL
Chile: Qualified as winners of the South American (CONMEBOL) Cup
Qualified: 4 July 2015
La Roja reached their maiden Confederations Cup with a historic Copa America victory. They claimed the first major trophy in the nation’s footballing history with a penalty shootout win against Argentina at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago.
Player(s) to watch: Alexis SANCHEZ, Arturo VIDAL
Mexico: Qualified as winners of CONCACAF Gold Cup
Qualified: 10 October 2015
The CONCACAF Cup was held in 2015 to determine which CONCACAF Gold Cup winner (USA, from 2013 or Mexico, from 2015) would be heading to Russia 2017. Mexico won an enthralling tie 3-2 in extra time in front of over 90,000 at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena, which hosted the 1994 World Cup Final.
Player(s) to watch: Javier HERNANDEZ, Giovani DOS SANTOS
New Zealand: Qualified as winners of Oceania Football Confederation Cup
Qualified: 11 June 2016
A goalless draw after extra time meant a penalty shootout determined the winner of the OFC Nations Cup, which also doubled as Oceania’s second round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. Marco Rojas’s spot kick sent the All Whites to the Confederations Cup, defeating Papua New Guinea to claim the continental crown.
Player(s) to watch: Chris WOOD
Portugal: Qualified as winnners of Euro 2016
Qualified: 10 July 2016
Portugal won their first major trophy in dramatic fashion to claim an inaugural FIFA Confederations Cup spot. Talisman Cristiano Ronaldo withdrew injured early in the UEFA EURO 2016 final, but an unlikely hero emerged. Eder scored an extra time stunner to defeat hosts France and seal his side’s Russia 2017 place.
Player(s) to watch: Cristiano Ronaldo
Cameroon: Qualified as African Champions
Qualified: 5 February 2017
The Indomitable Lions claimed their first continental crown for over a decade by coming from behind to see off Egypt in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations final in Gabon. Vincent Aboubakar’s 88th-minute strike saw Cameroon crowned Africa’s kings, and complete the line-up for Russia 2017.
Player(s) to watch: Benjamin MOUKANDJO, Vincent ABOUBAKAR