The curse of winning the Confederations Cup tournament

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The 2017 Confederations Cup kicked off on Saturday when Russia took on New Zealand. 

Stanislav Cherchesov's men beat the visiting New Zealand side 2-0 in Saint Petersburg, thanks to striker Fedor Smolov and an own goal. 

The tournament is nothing more than a dress rehearsal for the following years World Cup, which in 2018, will be held in Russia.

It offers the host nation a chance to iron out any problems it may have with organisation in terms of stadiums and infrastructure, but also offers a chance for those on the pitch to prepare well.  

The other teams competing are the winners of the World Cup, Germany, the winners of Euro 2016, Portugal, the Asian Cup winners, Australia, the Copa America winners, Chile, the CONCACAF Cup winners, Mexico, the OFC Nations Cup holders New Zealand and Africa Cup of Nations winners Cameroon.

It's a good chance for international managers to test their squads against some of the world's big hitters, with the likes of Germany, Portugal, and Chile all involved.

And with the World Cup following less than a year after, it's expected that whoever wins the tournament will go on to perform well on the greatest stage the following summer.       

However, this is not actually the case.       

Germany v Argentina: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final

Since it's formation 25 years ago, no team that has won the Confederations Cup has actually gone on to win the biggest prize in football a year later.       

That's quite a strange statistic. Does it mean the tournament is actually cursed? Probably not, but it's interesting all the same.

Brazil have won it the last three times, in 2005, 2009 and 2013, but never went on to win the World Cup, not even when they hosted it in 2014.       

Brazil v Spain: Final - FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013

In fact, France, Mexico, Argentina, and Denmark have all failed in the same way Brazil have.

Although no Confederations Cup winner has gone on to win the World Cup straight after, this year's challengers shouldn't be put off from going for glory.

They can always buck the trend in 2018.     

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