The Confederation Cup 2017 is set to kick off this Saturday in Russia from June 17 to July 2 as a build up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The eight-team tournament will feature champions from each confederation including host nation Russia.
With the likes of Portugal and Chile taking part in the tournament, football fans around the world will get to see stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Alexis Sanchez in action. The eight teams will be divided into two groups and the top two teams from each group will progress to the knockout stage.
The winner of Group A will play the runner-up of Group B and the winner of Group B will play the runner-up of Group A. There will also be a third place match between the losers of the semi-finals.
The 15-day tournament will be played at Otkrytiye Arena in Moscow, Kazan Arena in Kazan, Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi and Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, which will also host the final. Apart from Russia, Chile and Portugal, the other teams that made it are Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Mexico and Cameroon.
So, how did the eight teams make it to the Confederation Cup 2017 and which groups are they in?
Russia qualified for the tournament as they are the hosts of the tournament. New Zealand, who will be appearing in their fourth FIFA Confederations Cup qualified after winning the 2016 OFC Nations Cup. Portugal secured their place in the Confederation Cup 2017 after winning the Euro 2016 and the final team of this group is Mexico. This will be their sixth time they are participating in the tournament after winning the 2015 CONCACAF Cup.
2014 FIFA World Cup winners Germany are the favourite to top this group and go all the way in the tournament. But Chile, who will be making their first appearance in this tournament, could cause them some trouble. They qualified after winning the 2015 Copa America.
The final two teams of the group are Cameroon and Australia. The Africans qualified after winning the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations while Australia made it after winning the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
The first match of the Confederation Cup 2017 sees host nation Russia taking on New Zealand on 17th while the second day sees two big countries clash in Portugal and Mexico. The first match from Group B sees Cameroon up against first timers Chile. The only big match to look forward to in this group is between Germany and Chile.
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Most of the teams have selected their top stars to compete in this tournament but Germany have decided to give a chance to a number of young players. The likes of Mesut Ozil, Manuel Neuer, Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira all miss out.
Despite that Germany still possess some really top players in Leroy Sane, Joshua Kimmich and Julian Brandt and they will be expected to all the way at the Confederation Cup 2017.
Click here to get the team list
Apart from Ronaldo and Sanchez, the other star players that will grace the Confederation Cup 2017 are Bernardo Silva, who recently signed for Manchester City. The likes of Rafael Marquez Aleksandr Golovin Arturo Vidal and Julian Draxler will also be expected to be at their best.
India: Sony Six/HD. Portugal: RTP. Russia: Perviy kanal, Match TV. UK: ITV. USA: Fox, FS1, Telemundo, Universo. New Zealand: Prime, Sky Sport. Mexico: Televisa, TV Azteca. Germany: ARD, ZDF. Chile: Canal 13, TVN, Mega, DirecTV. Australia: SBS, Optus Sport