Putin to attend Confed Cup opening match

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 22, 2017

The Confederations Cup has kicked off with host nation Russian Federation opening the World Cup rehearsal tournament against New Zealand.

Despite its status as a World Cup dress rehearsal, no previous Confederations Cup holders have gone on to win the World Cup the following year.

Over the next two weeks, eight teams will compete for worldwide bragging rights and an opportunity to qualify for next year's World Cup.

Russia's president was in the $750 million new stadium in his native St. Petersburg to see forward Fyodor Smolov's 69th minute goal add to an own goal by New Zealand defender Michael Boxall in the 31st.

New Zealand will need a sporting miracle to qualify for the World Cup, which is why Russian Federation will not get too excited about a 2-0 victory over them.

The All Whites are taking part in their fourth tournament as they look to cause an upset in Russian Federation.

The eight-nation, 16-game tournament features the host nation, 2014 World Cup victor Germany and champions of FIFA's six continental governing bodies.

Federation Internationale de Football Association now has just 12 sponsors lined up for the tournament - way off its 24 target figure and far behind the 20 it had locked up a year before the Brazil World Cup - and has only secured a handful of partners since the corruption crisis unfurled, with the majority locked into long-term deals.

After the game, Cherchesov, a former goalkeeper who played for the national team before and after the fall of communism suggested it was an advantage to have such a pep talk. However, this hasn't deterred the hope of Mexican fans, and many are looking to just enjoy a good game between two star-studded teams alongside their family and friends. Since then, there has been what has felt like a steady and sustained decline, culminating in a disastrous performance by an ageing, uninspiring team at Euro 2016. The team scraped a 1-1 draw with England before losing 2-1 to Slovakia and finishing with a humiliating 3-0 defeat by Wales.

"So, we're slightly deflated but the team showed a lot of spirit".

Video review, however, is likely to define refereeing success at a World Cup that kicks off just 18 months after the 2016 Club World Cup was the first Federation Internationale de Football Association tournament to have live trials.

Both teams were lined up on the pitch for an unusual prematch protocol, looking up at the VIP boxes to hear from Russia's leader and Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino, before being able to complete their preparations.

There have been rumours Arsenal could sign the midfielder Aleksandr Golovin, and Smolov is angling for a move to "one of the top four leagues" over the summer.

Feder Smolov is another key player for the hosts as he is lethal in front of goal.

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