Ronaldo, Romario and Roberto Carlos are only three of the most sonorous names among the celebrities already enlisted by Brazil for the FIFA Confederations Cup for the King Fahd Trophy in Saudi Arabia.
Just as much glitter is promised by the other seven associations taking part: Zelic (Australia), Bejbl (Czech Republic), Montero (Uruguay and the goalkeepers Campos (Mexico) and Al Deayea (Saudi Arabia) are some of the stars of this competition, which will be held in Riyadh from 12 to 21 December 1997.
The competition bringing the confederation champions all together will be taking place for the first time ever under the auspices of FIFA: Saudi Arabia were hosts to the Intercontinental Championship way back in 1992, when four teams took part and Argentina came up trumps, and again in 1995, when the reigning European champions Denmark danced their way to the top of a table of six teams. This year's table of competitors has grown to eight with Australia having qualified as Oceania's representative and the world champions having accepted the invitation to do battle for the newly created King Fahd Trophy. The bonuses will amount to more than 8 million US dollars, 1.5 million of which will rain down on the winners.
All the competitors, apart from the Czech Republic (European runners-up), Uruguay (1995 Copa America winners), and the UAE (runners-up in the 1996 Asian Cup), have also qualified for the 1998 World Cup final competition. With only six months to go before the kick-off for the 26th FIFA World Cup, this list of competitors has given added sparkle to the sporting prospects of the competition.
The tournament will kick off at 16.15 local time on 12 December with a clash between the hosts and the defending world champions and culminate in the final match nine days later.