Germany have added their name to the list of Confederations Cup champions thanks to a 1-0 victory over Chile in the final, joining five other teams to have lifted the trophy. Brazil (four titles), France (two), Argentina, Mexico and Denmark (one each) are the other nations to have tasted success at the competition.
As the curtain came down on the Tournament of Champions, it was time to hand out the individual awards – and it was no surprise to see Germany pick up the majority of them.
Captain Julian Draxler won the adidas Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player, with his team-mate Leon Goretzka taking the Bronze Ball. Beaten finalist Claudio Bravo was named as the best goalkeeper, while Timo Werner picked up the adidas Golden Boot. Germany also won the FIFA Fair Play Award.
adidas Golden Ball: Julian Draxler (Germany)
Alongside Sebastian Rudy and Joshua Kimmich, Draxler was one of only three German players to feature in all five of his country’s games at the Tournament of Champions, and he came into his own as the team’s leader. The 23-year-old played in an attacking midfield role for the most part, and his pace, accurate shooting and notable ability to take on his marker helped keep the young German side on the right track. He also stood out for his ability to stay composed in difficult situations. “He’s the player who can lead the team in the next few years, in the next generation after Neuer, Khedira, Hummels and Boateng,” said head coach Joachim Low before the tournament. “That’s why this is an important time for him.” Draxler did not disappoint.
Silver Ball: Alexis Sanchez (Chile)
Bronze Ball: Leon Goretzka (Germany)
adidas Golden Boot: Timo Werner (Germany; 3 goals/2 assists)
The 21-year-old arrived in Russia as the best German attacker in the Bundesliga last season with 21 goals and eight assists, and he more than live up to expectations. His speed on the ball, aerial ability and outstanding positional sense indicate that Germany’s search for a goalscorer-in-chief following Miroslav Klose’s retirement looks to have come to an end.
Silver Boot: Lars Stindl (Germany (3/0), Leon Goretzka (Germany; 3/0)
[Stindl and Goretzka share the adidas Silver Boot because they have the same number of goals and assists]
adidas Golden Glove: Claudio Bravo (Chile)
Chile captain Bravo was out injured for his side’s first two group games, but the goalkeeper returned in time for the decisive matches. He stood out in the semi-finals in particular, not only keeping his team in the game over 120 minutes with several excellent saves, but also keeping out all three of Portugal’s penalties in the shoot-out. It was no surprise to see him named Budweiser Man of the Match. He was also called into action a number of times in the final, but was unable to prevent a narrow defeat.
FIFA Fair Play Award: Germany
The young Germany team gave a wonderful account of themselves both on and off the pitch. They collectively earned just eight yellow cards in their five tournament outings, and committed just 66 fouls. Germany’s initiative in handing out t-shirts to local fans with the words “Germany” written in Cyrillic was also very well received. In addition to the trophy, medals for players and officials and a certificate, the German Football Association also received a cheque for $10,000 USD, which must exclusively be put towards football equipment at youth level.
Captain Draxler penned an open letter to thank the tournament hosts. “We were able to spend three weeks in this beautiful country and now, at the end of the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia, we would like to say a big thank you. Our summer in Russia has come to an end. Thank you very much. Spasiba and Doswidanja. We’re already looking forward to coming back here in 2018.”