Absent champions' celebrations

They call it ‘The Festival of Champions’, but the next FIFA Confederations Cup will be devoid of its reigning and record champions.

Romario and Ronaldo hit hat-tricks apiece as Brazil demolished Australia 6-0 in the 1997 final. Adriano headlined their exhilarating 4-1 defeat of arch-rivals Argentina in the 2005 decider. A Seleção retained their crown by recovering a two-goal deficit to edge USA in 2009. And Neymar inspired the men in canary-yellow to a marvellous 3-0 reverse of Spain two years ago – a result he is seen celebrating with fans in the above picture.

Brazil will not, however, be at the Confederations Cup for the first time since it was adopted by FIFA in two years’ time, after their Copa America disappointment.

For the first time, the competition will feature three teams from the same confederation: Russia as hosts, Germany as FIFA World Cup™ holders, and the winners of UEFA EURO 2016 (or runners-up should Joachim Low’s side or the 2018 World Cup hosts emerge victorious in France).

FIFA.com recently launched its Russia 2017 section. It features videos, features, host city profiles and much more, so be sure to check it out.