Today marks 500 days until the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia and Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou believes the tournament is an important reward for the Socceroos’ Asian Cup victory but also crucial to the team's evolution leading into the 2018 World Cup.
The Socceroos qualified for the Confederations Cup after defeating Korea Republic 2-1 to claim the AFC Asian Cup and will join the winners of all six Confederation Championships (Europe, South America, Africa, Central America and Oceania) as well as current World Cup Champions Germany and host nation for the 2018 World Cup, Russia.
The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup will be held in June 2017 and is an official test event for the World Cup but also a wonderful opportunity for the Socceroos to test their progression and get an early look at Russia.
“Firstly, the Confederations Cup is a great reward for the players and everyone who was involved in our Asian Cup victory,” Postecoglou said.
“To play in the Confederations Cup against the Champions of the other six Confederations, Germany and Russia will be a great experience for the players.
“The Confederations Cup has always been a prestigious event but over time it has grown into a fantastic tournament where some of the biggest nations in world football come together for a meaningful competition 12 months out from the World Cup.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for the players to get some valuable experience against big nations in a tournament mode, which is extremely valuable in terms of our progression as a team and also for the players.
“We have a good core group of the squad that will have three years of solid matches and this will be a test that reaches further than a one-off game and it allows us to get a look at Russia and the conditions that will greet all nations during the 2018 World Cup.
“Of course we have to continue out form in the World Cup Qualifiers but this is an important part of our plan to make a difference in Russia.”