The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup is starting in Russia on June 17.
The FIFA Confederations Cup is an international football tournament held among national teams every four years by the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA).
The tournament that was played prior to the Confederations Cup was held in Saudi Arabia in 1992 and 1995 and was called the King Fahd Cup. Four teams participated in the first such tournament and six in the second competition. The winners of Continental Cups were represented in the tournament along with the team of the hosting country. The tournament has been organized by FIFA since 1997 when it was called the Confederations Cup. Currently, the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) officially recognizes the King Fahd tournaments (1992 and 1995) as the first Confederations Cups.
In 1997-2003, the tournament was held every two years and was hosted by Saudi Arabia (1997), Mexico (1999), South Korea and Japan (2001) and France (2003).
Since 2005, the FIFA Confederations Cup has been held every four years. It is viewed as a rehearsal of the FIFA World Cup because it is held a year before the world tournament at the stadiums slated to host the forthcoming event.
The FIFA Confederations Cup was held in Germany in 2005, in South Africa in 2009 and in Brazil in 2013. There were four instances in the tournament’s history when some teams refused to participate in a bid to give football players a rest or due to overlapping schedules of matches of the Confederations Cup and national championships. Germany missed the Confederations Cup twice (1997 and 2003) while France and Italy did it once (1999 and 2003, respectively).
Eight national football teams take part in the FIFA Confederations Cup: the hosts of the event, the reigning world champions, and also six winners of continental football championships that are organized by the relevant confederations (the Union of European Football Associations, UEFA; the Confederation of African Football, CAF; the Asian Football Confederation, AFC; the South American Football Confederation, CONMEBOL; the Oceania Football Confederation, OFC; the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football, CONCACAF).
Following the results of the draw, the teams are divided into two groups. The teams that clinch the first and the second places in their groups go to the playoff stage. Then, semifinals are held. They are followed by a match for the third place and by a final.
The tournament’s main prize is the bronze and gold-plated Trophy with a lapis lazuli and ebony base, which is handed over to the winner team. The Trophy weighs 8.6 kg and is 40 cm high. As most other FIFA Trophies, the Confederations Cup has the shape of the globe that rests on a base. Six medallions with the emblems of the FIFA confederations are arranged around the upper segment of the base.
Besides, individual prizes are given by the results of each tournament: the Golden Ball for the best player, the Golden Boot for the top scorer, the Golden Glove for the best goalkeeper and the Fair Play team prize.
The national team of Brazil holds a record number of FIFA Confederations Cup Trophies: the Brazilians won the tournament four times: in 1997, 2005, 2009 and 2013. France is a two-time Confederations Cup winner (2001 and 2003) while one title was won by Argentina (1992), Denmark (1995) and Mexico (1999).
The best scorers in the history of Confederations Cup tournaments are Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Mexico) and Ronaldinho (Brazil), with each of them scoring nine goals.
The attendance record at FIFA Confederations Cup tournaments was set in Mexico in 1999 (over 60,000 spectators per match on average).