Brazil got the perfect morale-boost ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Finals™ with an emphatic victory at the eight-nation FIFA Confederations Cup in Germany in June. The dress rehearsal event for next year's finals saw Brazil overcome their South American arch-rivals Argentina 4-1 in the final. Adriano's five tournament goals and performances earned him the adidas Golden Shoe and Golden Ball awards. Mexico and Germany also emerged with credit as the hosts claimed third place by beating the Mexicans 4-3 after extra time in a thrilling play-off match.
Argentina had the satisfaction of beating Brazil in the semi-finals of the 24-nation FIFA World Youth Championship as Netherlands 2005 headed towards its climax at the end of June. Argentina, inspired by the magical talents of Barcelona's Lionel Messi, were outstanding throughout the U-20 tournament and booked a spot in the final against Nigeria with a 2-1 defeat of Brazil. Nigeria had been similarly impressive, seeing off hosts Holland 10-9 on penalties before ending the hopes of fellow African challengers Morocco in the semis. In the group stages, Syria grabbed the headlines with a famous win over Italy and also reaching the round of 16 before narrowly losing to Brazil. China won all their three group matches before falling 3-2 to Germany in the pick of the knock-out matches.
Both events celebrated FIFA Anti-Discrimination Day as the game's governing body demonstrated its firm stance against racism and they also highlighted the FIFA and SOS Children's Villages '6 Villages for 2006' campaign, with healthy donations received from fans in Germany and the Netherlands.
Australia's Sydney FC became the third team to reach the FIFA Club World Championship TOYOTA Cup Japan 2005 after beating New Caledonia's AS Magenta 2-0 in the final of the Oceania Club Championship
Germany topped the FIFA Women's World Ranking list by themselves after sharing the honour with USA, thanks to their 3-1 triumph against Norway in the final of the UEFA Women's European Championship in Blackburn.
Iran were crowned champions in the AFC Futsal Championship in Ho Chi Minh City after a 2-0 victory over Japan in the final.
FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking
Brazil stayed on top of the standings, with the Netherlands (4th, up 1) making the only significant move in the chasing pack. Outside the top ten, Denmark (16th, up 3), Colombia (25th, up 3), Russia (27th, up 3), Togo (67th, up 12) and Congo DR (68th, up 9) were among those with reason to be pleased with their progress.
2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™
Argentina slipped up with a defeat in Ecuador, but then secured their place at the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ in their most satisfying fashion by beating Brazil 3-1 in Buenos Aires. Both teams then headed to the FIFA Confederations Cup and Tunisia warmed up for the same event by boosting their Germany 2006 hopes thanks to defeats of Guinea and Botswana. Côte d'Ivoire pulled off one of the most eye-catching results in Africa when they beat Egypt 2-0. Free-scoring Czech Republic went goal crazy in Europe with impressive defeats of Andorra (8-1) and Macedonia FYR (6-1). In Asia, Japan revived their fortunes under Zico with away victories over Bahrain and Korea DPR, while Iran also took maximum points off same teams . Meanwhile, Mexico and USA picked up six points each to stay ahead of the pack in the CONCACAF zone.
24-26 June - FIFA Anti-Discrimination Days
29 June - Brazil win FIFA Confederations Cup Germany 2005
29 June - FIFA Executive Committee meeting, Frankfurt
29 June - Australia given green light to leave Oceania and join Asian Football Confederation on 1 January 2006