They are the inspirational figures who dream of leading up their teams to collect the trophy on Sunday 2 July. The eight captains at the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 come under the microscope, with analysis from* FIFA.com's* team reporters.
"When you think about El Tri's* captain, you don't have to look further than No4. The only player in history to have captained his side in four consecutive FIFA World Cups™, 'El Káiser' will be wearing the armband once again in Russia. Nor does the 38-year-old plan on the the FIFA Confederations Cup being his last major tournament, having stated recently that he aims to finish his career in the best possible way at next year's World Cup."
Martin Langer, Mexico team reporter**
"The reigning FIFA Best Men’s Player has amassed more appearances as captain than any Portuguese skipper before him. His oft-mentioned antics on the touchline during the EURO 2016 Final provide perhaps the best example of Cristiano’s influence and leadership as Portugal captain. Forced off the pitch in tears just 25 minutes into the most important match of his international career, Ronaldo spent the rest of the game on the sideline, screaming instructions and support. In the end, the team made history - winning Portugal’s first major international title - all with their captain hobbling up and down the touchline and yelling encouragement until the very last minute."
Marco Monteiro, Portugal team reporter
Chris Wood *
"A relative veteran in the young Kiwi team, Chris Wood played in all three of New Zealand’s matches at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ and in the process became the youngest-ever World Cup player for his country. As the tallest outfield player in the team, Wood is the fulcrum around which most of New Zealand’s attacks move, and he has proven himself capable of scoring at both club and international level. A driven, no-nonsense force in the side, Wood embodies the defiant attitude of the All Whites."
*Brendon Hanley, New Zealand team reporter **
Igor Akinfeev *
"Akinfeev has played for Russia and his one and only club CSKA Moscow for so long, it seems like he’s always been there. His professional debut was at the age of 16 and he holds the record as the Russian national team's youngest-ever player (18 years 20 days). Although his 15-year career has included a couple of serious injuries, he has always got back on track and broken a variety of goalkeeping records. He became Russian captain in March 2017 when Vasily Berezutskiy retired from the national team and is set to pass the 100-cap mark in the hosts' second match at the Confederations Cup."
*Igor Borunov, Russia team reporter**
"Bravo inherited the captain's armband from Marcelo Salas in 2008 in the best possible way: being chosen by his teammates. Beyond his abilities as a goalkeeper, Bravo's personality has played a vital role in Chile's evolution to it's current status as a team respected across the world. He was a key part of the teams that competed at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups and, as captain, had the honour of raising the Copa America trophy in 2015 and 2016. Chile's undisputed first-choice keeper since 2007, he is the most-capped player in the history of La Roja. Though injury will keep him out of the team's first match, bet on him returning to play a big part thereafter."
Diego Zandrino, Chile team reporter
"He may only be 23 years old, but Draxler will have the honour of captaining the world champions at Russia 2017. But this is unlikely to faze him. He already has experience, after all, of becoming the youngest ever captain Die Mannschaft has ever seen, having led the team in a friendly three years ago at the age of 20 years and 265 days. The fact he became a regular at EURO 2016 after playing a bit-part role at Brazil 2014 underlines that coach Joachim Low has big plans for the Paris Saint-Germain star. Draxler is a fast and two-footed attacker who can thrive both in wide positions and in the 'hole' behind the striker."
Steffen Potter, Germany team reporter
"Benjamin Moukandjo is one of the most experienced players Cameroon have at their disposal in Russia. Coach Hugo Broos handed him the captaincy in September 2016, and saw quickly that he made the right choice. "It was a great success," said Broos. "Moukandjo is an intelligent man, a leader and a good speaker." The Belgian coach's confidence was justified within a month of giving the striker the armband, when Moukandjo led the Indomitable Lions to an unexpected victory at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2017 and was named man of the match in the final."
Pascal de Miramon, Cameroon team reporter
Tim Cahill/Mark Milligan
*"Australia lost regular captain Mile Jedinak to injury just a week prior to the tournament opener against world champions Germany, the Aston Villa midfielder having led the team since 2014. Tim Cahill is expected to don the armband in his stead, with the iconic Socceroo - the nation’s all-time leading goalscorer - renowned for his leadership both on and off the field. With Cahill invariably starting on the bench in recent times, midfielder Mark Milligan is favoured to lead Australia if required. The 31-year-old is the second-most experienced player in the squad with 56 caps and has previously skipped Australia on six occasions."
*Peter Smith, Australia team reporter**