Reigning football’s world champions, Germany, beat Chile on Sunday to win the Confederations Cup just two days after claiming the European Under-21 title. Lars Stindl scored the only goal into an empty net in the 20th minute of a pulsating, bad-tempered final in the Russian city of St Petersburg.
The dramatic game featured missed chances, defensive howlers, scuffles and two video reviews, one producing a highly controversial outcome. But Germany survived Chile’s whirlwind assault to claim a 1-0 victory and their first-ever Confederations Cup title.
It was a remarkable achievement for Germany to lift the trophy with a young, experimental squad. But it could also be a bad omen as no team has ever lifted the World Cup after winning the Confederations Cup the year before.
Portugal claimed third place after a 2:1 extra-time win over Mexico.
The Confederations Cup is a great dry run for World Cup hosts, and Russia has also passed the test convincingly. And FIFA is delighted.
“Definitely the Cup of Confederations is used by all actors as a rehearsal and as I have seen in terms of welcoming, in terms in terms of security level in terms also of fan engagement I can only imagine how beautiful the World Cup next year will be,” said FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura.
There remain a few small details to nail down, but Russia is World Cup ready says its Football Union vice-president. “I have spoken with the coach of the English team, Gareth Southgate and he was just fascinated by the way the Confederations cup has been organized and it is a very important signal. I think that such an important event will help us to show that we are a good and hospitable country to all our friends,” said Sergei Anohin.