SANTA MONICA – The FIFA Confederations Cup kicks off in Russia on June 17th and the teams are busy getting ready to fight for victory. Eight countries: Cameroon, Australia, Germany, Portugal, Russia, New Zealand, Chile and Mexico, all gunning to win the final match on July 2nd, but who will take home the win?
While Germany, Portugal and Chile are the favorites, getting into the Cup to begin with is no easy feat, so all the teams have their strengths. The tournament consists of the six winners of the FIFA Confederations Championships, Germany, the World Cup champions, and Russia who qualified automatically as the host country.
The obvious favorite: Germany
Germany, the current world champions after winning the World Cup, have a whole team of world class players. They have consistently show that their ball handling and teamwork is far superior to most other teams in the world. Germany, however, is sending some of their younger players to the Confederations Cup in favor of giving some rest to some of their more established stars. They will likely be playing without Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller, and Jerome Boateng. While they still have a stellar roster, and their young players are filled with potential, will they have the experience they need to take home the victory?
The strong, consistent squad: Portugal
Even though it is their first ever appearance in the tournament, Portugal has a lot going for them. At the top of that list is Cristiano Ronaldo, who many consider to be the best player in the world. He is probably the best goal scorer in the whole tournament and that might just be enough for Portugal to win it all. Additionally, they have an all around strong, consistent roster with players like Bernardo Silva and William Carvalho. While they don’t, as a team, handle the ball as beautifully as Germany, they will likely play with a line up that will be pretty similar to the group that wowed and took home the victory at Euro 2016.
The underdog that might come and win it all: Chile
Chile are the underdogs that could win through sheer grit and determination. Although they might not have the most talented players in the tournament, that is a feat they have managed to overcome time and time again. They know how to turn the fire on when it matters and have shown that they mean business. Although, they have showed a recent struggle in World Cup Qualifiers, they know how to come back and continue to fight.
First up, Russia will play New Zealand on Saturday, June 17th at 8:00 AM pacific time.
Photo by ISI.