Confederations Cup by numbers

15 June 2009

The eighth edition of the Confederations Cup kicked off in South Africa on Sunday. Take a look behind the numbers at the past, present and future of Fifa’s “Festival of Champions”.

36 000 is the Fifa Confederations Cup’s overall average attendance. Mexico 1999 is the competition’s best-supported edition to date, with a tournament average of over 60 000, and a final attended by 110 000 at the fabled Azteca.

572 minutes without conceding a goal saw Cameroon set a new Fifa Confederations Cup record in 2003, eclipsing the previous benchmark of 472 strung together by Brazil between the 1997 and 1999 editions.

100 percent: that is Italy’s current record on African soil, with the Azzurri having won all three of the full internationals they have played on the mother continent. This run was started by a 2-1 victory over Egypt in a Fifa World Cup qualifier in 1953, a result that precipitated friendly wins over Czechoslovakia (3-0) later the same year and Tunisia (4-0) in 2004.

50 goals have comfortably established Brazil as the highest-scoring team in Fifa Confederations Cup history, followed by Mexico (33) and France (24). In their three finals alone, A Seleçao have hit the net 13 times, putting six goals past Australia in 1997, winning 4-1 against Argentina in 2005, and going down to a dramatic 4-3 defeat by Mexico in 1999.

28 years and 7 months is the average age of the Italy squad, making the Azzurri the oldest team at South Africa 2009. Iraq, the tournament’s youngest, have an average age of less than 25.

16 years and eight months when he turned out in the 1995 edition, Japan’s Satoshi Yamaguchi remains the Confederations Cup’s youngest-ever player. With New Zealand forward Chris Wood the youngest of the 184 players at South Africa 2009, at 17 years and six months, this is one record that has no chance of falling over the next two weeks.

12 consecutive victories and 32 matches unbeaten: these are the sequences that have helped establish Spain as the pre-tournament favourites. During the latter run, which stretches all the way back to 15 November 2006, La Roja have kept 21 clean sheets.

10 years ago, Spain travelled to Africa for another Fifa tournament – and returned with the trophy. South Africa 2009 hopefuls Iker Casillas, Carlos Marchena and Xavi all featured in the squad that took gold at the Fifa Under 20 World Cup in Nigeria.

9 goals have established Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Ronaldinho as the Fifa Confederations Cup’s all-time leading scorers, two ahead of Romario and Adriano. Ronaldinho accrued his tally over the 1997, 2003 and 2005 editions, while Blanco needed just two (1997 and 1999) to rack up the same tally.

7 Wellington Phoenix players will be at the Fifa Confederations Cup, making the New Zealand-based Australian A-League outfit the tournament’s best-represented club. Liverpool and Valencia each boast six, while Al Ahly, Barcelona, Juventus and Villarreal follow on five apiece.

5 tournaments, 22 matches and two winners’ medals: these are the statistics that have established Dida as the Fifa Confederations Cup’s most experienced and successful player. The Brazilian keeper, who has been omitted from the Seleçao squad this time around, missed just eight minutes of action of the five Confederations Cups between 1997 and 2005.

3 of the top five teams in the Fifa/Coca-Cola World Ranking – Spain, Italy and Brazil – will be competing at this year’s Fifa Confederations Cup. This is the first time in the tournament’s history that this has happened.

2 titles apiece make Brazil and France the Fifa Confederations Cup’s joint-most successful sides. A Seleçao (1997 and 2005) and Les Bleus (2001 and 2003) have emerged triumphant in four out of the last five editions, while Argentina (1992), Denmark (1995) and Mexico (1999) each have a solitary triumph to their names.

1 team has successfully defended the Fifa Confederations Cup: France. Les Bleus retained the title in 2003, edging out Cameroon on home soil in the final two years after beating hosts Japan to the title in the Far East.

0 – that is how many Fifa Confederations Cups Brazil have missed out on since the tournament came under the Fifa umbrella in 1997. The South Americans, who are the only survivors from Germany 2005, are now competing in a record sixth successive edition.