The final of the 2017 Confederations Cup will be played out in St Petersburg on Sunday as Chile and Germany look to add international silverware to their respective trophy cabinets.
The tournament in Russia has been used by the competing nations as a warm-up for next year’s World Cup, to be played at the same venue.
Germany enter the game as overwhelming favourites and should Joachim Low’s men win the competition it would round off a very successful summer for the European nation.
The German under-21 side defied the odds to beat their Spanish counterparts in the European Championships last week – a feat made all the more impressive given that a number of their star players did not compete due to representing the senior side in Russia.
Germany’s World Cup triumph in Brazil in 2014 was their fourth in history, with Die Mannschaft clearly currently possessing an international model that works.
Chile have impressed during the tournament in Russia, bringing a host of young players to feature along household names like Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal.
The dual Copa America champions have shown over recent years that they have what it takes to beat the world’s top teams and must now be adjudged among the global game’s elite.
While Germany will enter next summer’s World Cup with tournament glory as the ultimate goal, a Chilean victory today would only add to the growing feeling that the South Americans could also pose a realistic threat on the biggest stage.
As can be seen above, the Confederations Cup has not been a positive omen for the winners over the last decade – with glory at the competition ultimately being followed by all-encompassing disappointment 12 months later.
The last five sides to claim victory in the World Cup warm-up competition have followed this up with early elimination at the main event – but neither Germany nor Chile will surely be concerned by this ominous fact.
The South Americans burgeoning place among the world’s elite has been building over the last decade and winning the Confederations Cup on Sunday would confirm Chile have claimed a major trophy in three consecutive years.
Germany’s tournament mentality is stuff of folklore, which will surely be evident in the final against Chile and again in 12 months time as they defend their World Cup crown.
The neutrals will hope for an entertaining game to conclude the competition, while both participating teams have glory on Russian soil in their sights.