The Confederations Cup has been labelled a dress rehearsal for the World Cup the following year but this final is definitely not a dress rehearsal for next year’s World Cup final. Germany have left most of their main squad at home so a small minority of these players will get a chance in the real thing. Meanwhile, Chile are not one of the favourites for the World Cup so if they make it to the showpiece game next summer it’d be a big shock.
The Confed Cup will be decided in St. Petersburg but next year’s venue for the World Cup final isn’t even finished yet after it began renovation in 2013. The Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow is famous because it was the venue for the only all-English Champions League final in history between Manchester United and Chelsea and it will host the World Cup final next year. The St. Petersburg Stadium was opened this year and will be Zenit’s home outside of the major tournaments.
To the football itself and Germany and Chile will meet for the second time at the Confed Cup this summer and the first game was very even and ended in a 1-1 draw so don’t be surprised if this one goes the distance. Germany have used a 3-at-the-back formation for their last two games which has provided them with plenty of attacking ability but they haven’t looked assured at the back. Chelsea’s imminent signing, Antonio Rudiger, is likely to start for Germany so if they do use him in a back 3, Chelsea fans can see what he’s really about in that formation.
Rudiger will come up against Arsenal’s (for now) Alexis Sanchez who will be keen to make it 3 trophies in 3 years in Chilean red after 2 Copa America’s since 2015. It will be a day of firsts no matter what the outcome is; neither team have won the Confed Cup before while it is Chile’s first appearance in the tournament. Even though it’s the Confederations Cup, a winner’s medal would be cherished by the German youngsters with many of them making their international debuts during the tournament.
The significance of winning the Confed Cup is debatable so what effect has winning the tournament had on the team in the World Cup the following year? Brazil have won the last 3 Confed Cups and have not had much luck in the World Cup thereafter, including the one in their own country where they were hammered 7-1 by the Germans. No team has ever won the Confed Cup and gone on to win the next World Cup since the tournament’s formation in 1992. Just another record for Germany to beat I guess.
The 3rd place play-off will be a tasteless appetiser 6 hours before so by the end of the day we will have our 2017 Confederations Cup winners and standings. How exciting.