The FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 is right around the corner and we are just as excited as we’d be at any other flagship FIFA tournament. Sounds strange? It shouldn’t.
Read on to know why :
Often viewed as an exhibition tournament and something which might drain the players’ energy in the off-season, the Confederations Cup hasn’t had a commendable reputation to begin with.
But even then, players do take pride in representing their country in this competition as a matter of national pride and respect for the country. And why not?
The champions from all the respected FIFA Confederations tournaments (be it Europe’s UEFA EURO, CONMEBOL’s Copa America or CAF’s African Cup Of Nations) and of course the mighty FIFA World Cup winners compete under a single umbrella and play some scintillating football to become “the champions of champions”.
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Moving on to our main topic, this edition of the Confederations Cup is being held in Russia and we have some cracker football teams vying to win the (not-so) coveted trophy.
In a conflicting perspective, my job is to tell you why this tournament is essential for international football and what you can expect from its current edition.
Starting off :
The tournament may be rendered insignificant for the champions from higher ranked confederations (primarily UEFA and CONMEBOL) but it plays a decisive role in looking at confederations which send out teams that aren’t deemed challenging enough in the World Cup by the likes of super teams like Argentina, Brasil, Germany and now, even teams like Portugal and Belgium.
Winners of CAF’s African Cup Of Nations (Cameroon), CONCACAF’s Mexico, AFC’s Australia, the hosts Russia and OFC’s New Zealand aren’t essentially the kind of teams you expect to perform startlingly well on a global stage which is why performing supremely well in their confederation tournaments gives them an added bonus to compete for another trophy.
This in turn increases the team’s brand value and very obviously incentivizes the players of the country in the club football scenario by giving them a window to good transfer deals and a substantial pay rise.
Brasil have won the last 3 editions of the Confederations Cup but failed to qualify this time after a dismal performance in the World Cup and in the 2015 Copa America as Copa America winners Chile had a fantastic run in 2015.
So, you see? Even super teams fall and this is a huge boost to the so-called “small” teams.
Coming to what YOU CAN EXPECT from this edition of the Confederations Cup :
Since it’s already old news that UEFA EURO 2016 champions Portugal are joining the likes of Chile and Germany, expect most of the global superstars like Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Arturo Vidal and most importantly, the reigning (and hopefully near’s too) FIFA Best Player and Ballon D’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo to feature for their respective sides.
That means a superstar display of skills and plenty of amazing goals in a short span.
Furthermore, expect the so-called smaller teams like Austraila (who are representing Asia for the first time in their history compared to Oceania), New Zealand and Mexico to play their hearts out, with my expectations being high on some exhilarating football as these teams will do their best to win and that should make up for some exciting matches starting from the group stage, itself.
What To Expect When You’re Expecting :
Expect some major disappointments, too. With the minnows playing high-stakes football, huge disappointments such as a major contender being eliminated from the group stage shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Even then, I believe this is a great chance to witness some fresh and unexplored talent in the word of juggernaut football teams and we should be in for a treat!
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