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Guide to FIFA's Soccer Cups

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FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) is soccer's global organization that has a few international soccer cups. Their biggest cups are among the largest sport events. These are FIFA's soccer cups played at various venues across the world.

FIFA World Cup

The most famous FIFA tournament is the World Cup. The tournament was first played during the 1930s, and since then has gradually expanded to include up to 32 teams from across the globe. The tournament is the largest soccer cup followed by millions of fans.

The finals includes eight groups of four teams. The top two make it to second round, where 16 remaining teams play in a knockout format up to the final. As such, this mixes league and cup soccer much same as UEFA club tournaments and other FIFA sport events.

However, unlike the UEFA tournaments the finals are once every four seasons. FIFA selects variable host nations in advance. Each FIFA World Cup has an opening ceremony before the first game (which includes the selected host nation) kicks off.

World Cup Stamp

The FIFA World Cup largely overshadows their other tournaments. Sometimes it's easy to forget that FIFA have other international tournaments. Compared to the World Cup they do not have much media coverage.

FIFA Confederations Cup

Among their other international tournaments is the FIFA Confederations Cup. This is much the same as the FIFA World Cup, except that it includes only eight of the world's best teams. They are included in two groups of four sides, with the top two making it through to the semifinals.

There are no qualifying games for this tournament. Instead it includes the six winners of the most recent regional cups such as European Championship, Copa America etc. In addition to them, the Confederations Cup has a selected host, which is the next World Cup host, and includes the current world champions.

FIFA Club World Cup

The world cup of clubs is the one FIFA tournament that includes club teams. This is supposed to include the world's top club teams, but is not really comparable to the UEFA Champions League as most of the best club sides are in Europe. This is a seasonal tournament played near the end of the year, and Champions League holders have won the last five.

The tournament includes just several sides. There is no group format, and not all the teams have play the same number of games to win the trophy. The European and South American teams play from the semifinals against the winner from its two quarter-final games. It remains a relatively small sport event, but has included some great club teams such as Barcelona.

FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup

Who says soccer has to be played on grass? Beach soccer is certainly a great alternative, and since the 1990s the beach soccer cup has been played between the world's top beach soccer teams. In beach soccer games are played on sand instead of grass.

The format of this tournament is fairly similar to the FIFA World Cup. However, the beach soccer event includes 16 teams from various FIFA confederations. This cup is pretty much the same as the UEFA European Championship, with four groups of four, a qtr-final, semifinal and then final.

But the soccer is anything but the same. Beach soccer is not the same as its grassy counterpart, with no boots for the players, as the pitch sizes are considerably smaller. Average score lines in the Beach Soccer World Cup include many more goals than what you would expect in a FIFA World Cup game.

Brazil has dominated this tournament. But despite the frosty Russian climate the Russians emerged as champions in 2011, ending Brazil's grip of the trophy. Other national teams with no coastline at all such as Switzerland have also made it to the final.

These FIFA soccer cups are among the most exciting in the sport. They include the best soccer teams from across the world, and you can always expect some great games.



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