From its first edition in Saudi Arabia 16 years ago, the FIFA Confederations Cup has risen in prominence to become a true celebration of football, worthy of the moniker ‘Festival of Champions.’ Here, FIFA.com runs down a key statistic for every team involved in this year’s event, plus a bonus stat in celebration of the tournament’s ninth edition.
Brazil have racked up more FIFA Confederations Cup participations than any other team; this will be their seventh since 1997, all of them consecutive. A Seleção have also won the most titles (three in 1997, 2005 and 2009) played the most matches (28), won the most games (18) and scored the most goals (64). Brazil also claimed their FIFA Confederations Cup titles across three different continents, having lifted the trophy in Saudi Arabia in 1997, Germany in 2005 and South Africa in 2009.
Shunsuke Nakamura and Hidetoshi Nakata are the only Japanese players to have scored in two different editions of the FIFA Confederations Cup. Nakamura netted three goals in 2003 and one in 2005, whereas Nakata was on target once in both the 2001 and 2003 editions.
Mexico are the only CONCACAF team to have won the trophy, achieving the feat as hosts in 1999 with a 4-3 win over Brazil in the final. That deciding match of the FIFA Confederations Cup 1999 generated the biggest attendance in the tournament’s history, with 110,000 spectators packing into Mexico City’s Azteca stadium on 4 August.
Prior to their match against Haiti on Tuesday, the last match Italy played on Brazilian soil dates back to 1 July 1956, when they lost 2-0 to the host team in a friendly. Prior to that Gli Azzurri had contested two games at the 1950 FIFA World Cup, losing 3-2 to Sweden and beating Paraguay 2-0.
No fewer than 18 members of the Spanish squad at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 went on to be crowned world champions the following year in South Africa. During that 2009 campaign, the 2-0 defeat to USA in the semi-finals of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 ended Spain’s sequence of 35 matches undefeated, which equalled Brazil's world record set between 1993 and 1996. The run had begun on 7 February 2007 with a 1-0 victory over England in Manchester.
Uruguay’s return to the FIFA Confederations Cup comes after a 16-year absence, which coincides with the time between their last two Copa America triumphs (1995-2011). In their only previous FIFA Confederations Cup campaign, Uruguay won their three group matches before losing their semi-final against Australia 1-0 after extra time. The winner was a golden goal struck by Harry Kewell on 92 minutes.
Tahiti are the third side to represent Oceania in the FIFA Confederations Cup, having been preceded by Australia (before their switch to the AFC in 2006) and New Zealand. Tahiti qualified by virtue of winning their first OFC Nations Cup in 2012. The islanders clinched the title with a 1-0 win over New Caledonia in the final on 10 June, thanks to a goal by Steevy Chong Hue.
Nigeria are one of two unbeaten teams in the history of the FIFA Confederations Cup, having won one match and drawn two. One of those stalemates took place in the match for third place, which the west Africans subsequently lost on penalties. The other undefeated team is Denmark, with two wins and a draw. Indeed, the only goal that Nigeria have conceded in the tournament was netted by Mexico’s Ramon Ramirez in the third place match, which finished 1-1 before the Super Eagles lost on penalties.
If he plays a single minute during the 2013 tournament, Uruguay’s Andres Scotti would be the fourth oldest player to participate at a FIFA Confederations Cup following Tunisia’s Ali Boumnijel (39 years, two months), Germany’s Lothar Matthaeus (38 years, four months) and Japan’s Ruy Ramos (37 years, ten months).