Ronaldo and Fuleco star in Turin
© FIFA.com

Fifty five days before the kick-off for the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil the excitement for the Festival of Champions has hit Italy.

Brazil’s football icon Ronaldo jetted to Turin in his mission as a member of the Local Organising Committee to pay a visit to the two European qualified teams, namely Italy and Spain on 21 and 23 April respectively.

The anticipation for the continental showdown was reflected in the media briefing which was broadcast live in Italy. The big stars were undoubtedly Ronaldo and the Official Mascot Fuleco and they were joined by Brazil’s Deputy Sports Minister Luis Fernandes and FIFA’s Communications & Public Affairs Director Walter De Gregorio.

Ronaldo provided the latest updates on the preparations for the tournament which takes place in six Brazilian cities from 15 to 30 June 2014, which features the champions of all six confederations, as well as the reigning FIFA World Cup™ champions Spain and hosts Brazil.

Italy are competing in their second FIFA Confederations Cup finals, having participated in the previous edition in South Africa as the reigning world champions. The Italians are taking part in the 2013 edition as the runners-up of UEFA EURO 2012.

Gli Azzurri start their campaign for their first FIFA Confederations Cup title on 16 June against CONCACAF champions Mexico. It will be the first match for Italy on Brazilian soil after 57 years and once again they return to the Maracana.

Italy also played two matches in Brazil at the 1950 FIFA World Cup, losing 3-2 to Sweden and beating Paraguay 2-0. Indeed, five out of the eight participating teams at this FIFA Confederations Cup were also present at Brazil 1950: Italy, Mexico, Spain, Uruguay and, of course, the hosts.

Ronaldo showed his excitement about participating in the re-opening of Maracana, the stadium where he watched his first matches as a young football fan.

“On 27 April, over 25,000 people including those who worked on the stadium and their families, have been invited to the stadium’s first test event,” he said. “It’s a match involving Bebeto, Zico, Romario and many other players.”

Ahead of the media event on Sunday, Ronaldo and Fuleco also visited the Juventus Museum and were particularly excited about the FIFA World Cup section!

The next stop of the FIFA Confederations Cup Experience Tour is in Madrid on Tuesday.