With intercontinental glory at stake, Euro 2020 winners Italy will face Copa América champions Argentina at Wembley on Wednesday in the opening match of the Super Cup known officially as the CONMEBOL-UEFA Champions Cup but also described as ‘Finalissima’.
The match will see the kings of Europe and South America face off for the first time since 1993, when the last iteration of the competition saw Argentina beat Denmark on penalties to lift the Artemio Franchi Cup, as it was then known.
After only two matches (the first in 1985, won by France) the Artemio Franchi Cup was stopped in the wake of Albiceleste win over. However, a new agreement between the two concerned federations saw the Super Cup renamed and launched in 2022.
The trophy at stake was revealed earlier this week and consists of two high-ranking people (representing the two rival continents) holding the flagship aloft, with the new Finalissima logo added to the trophy where their hands meet.
So where does the cup rank compared to the other major leagues on offer in men’s international football?
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With a golden ball perched atop a scroll, the Confederations Cup – which each continent’s champions contested the year before the World Cup – is clearly like FIFA’s premiere award despite carrying only a bit of its prestige. It’s a faded imitation of the real thing, and thus a fitting motto for an unnecessary contest that has been quietly omitted from the international calendar in 2019.
New Zealand was pushed all the way as they won the Oceania Nations Cup and a #ConfedCup spot pic.twitter.com/EK4X6qolqJ
– FIFA.com (FIFAcom) June 11, 2016
Newly introduced in 2012, the Oceania Nations Cup consists of a silver ball engraved with a map of the South Pacific and held high by three skewed prongs, each engraved with different traditional emblems reflecting the Melanesian, Polynesian and Maori. cultures. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop it from looking like an overly detailed desk paperweight from certain angles.
It’s early days and the cup doesn’t really mean anything yet, but the silverware looks respectable at least thanks to the nickel-plated finish used in the metalwork. At 17 inches tall, weighing 18.7 pounds, the slightly swollen cup is meant – with a nice touch – as a tribute to the original design of the trophy that France raised aloft nearly 40 years ago when they beat South American champions Uruguay 2-0 in Paris in 1985.
Directly inspired by the competition’s logo, the UEFA Nations League Cup consists of a large conical roll of metal meant to represent the world flag of all 55 competing nations “elegantly wrapped” around the flag pole. Although it is lighter than the Champions Cup, it has a height of 28 inches, which makes it a little tough.
The CONCACAF League Cup is 20.5 inches high and made in Milan, a twisting tower of silver-plated copper sprouting from a flat base made of rough stone which CONCACAF says is a symbol of “home”. While the competition was only established in 2018, the cup is more visually exciting than its UEFA counterpart.
Introduced in 2019, the AFC Asian Cup is a truly unique cup that is modeled after a lotus flower, with five pairs of petals said to symbolize the five sub-federations that fall under the umbrella of the Asian Football Confederation – AFF (Southeast Asia), CAFA (Central Asia), EAFF (Eastern Asia), SAFF (Southern Asia), and WAFF (Western Asia). At 30.7 inches long and 16.5 inches wide, it’s easily the largest of the cups on the list and at 33 pounds, it’s also one of the heaviest. The fact that it also looks like a shield coating on the chest of some giant robotic insects is also an unexpected bonus.
The Nations Cup is the third design to be used in the tournament since its inception in 1956, with this iteration first being introduced in 2001. The Golden Ball gives the trophy a tinge of 1920s Hollywood brilliance, while the soccer balls ring circling the planet It makes this cup even more special.
It is quite appropriate that the participating countries of the Gold Cup are already competing for the Gold Cup, but the angular design of the CONCACAF Cup in Art Deco style really helps it stand out against the rest. The design of the cup has changed very little over the years, with the most recent update introducing a graduated base with all the previous champions since 1991 engraved around it, as well as the words “Golden Cup” and “Copa Oro” engraved alternately around the outer rim. Although, from a health and safety point of view. These pointed knobs might catch someone’s attention.
Presented to the European Champions, the award was originally introduced by the famous Arthus-Bertrand company in 1960 and named after Henri Delaunay, the former President of the French Football Federation (FFF) who served as UEFA’s First Secretary General between 1954 and 1955. The design has been updated subtly over the years, and while maintaining the classic silhouette, the 2024 Edition will be larger and heavier than ever before at 23.6 inches and 17.6 pounds – 18 centimeters longer and 7 inches more than the trophy that Italy lifted at Euro 2020.
This heavyweight giant definitely deserves the occasion and boasts an ornate silver bowl that stands atop a multi-tiered plinth studded with miniature brass plaques bearing the names of previous winners. The original 1916-17 design was 24 inches long and weighed about 15 pounds, but it was raised to 29.5 inches and 20 pounds in 2011 by adding a fourth layer to the sturdy hardwood base in order to facilitate more winner boards. .
And, of course, the World Cup is a symbolic representation of football’s ultimate glory. Golden, shiny, iconic, desirable, and outstanding. The Silvio Gazzaniga design replaced the tougher Jules Rimet Cup (a small cup that can be easily held in one hand) in 1974 and features two robe-clad figures holding the entire world high. It measures just 14 inches high, weighs just over 13 pounds, and is made of 18 karat gold and malachite (green bands around the base). Since 1994, the cup has also had a base plate under it bearing the names of all past World Cup winning nations, from Uruguay in 1930 to France in 2018.