Back at the Scene: Brazil's first Confederations Cup title arrived in Saudi Arabia

CBF / Divulgação
The most successful team in the tournament's history return to Riyadh on Friday, where Ronaldo and Romario led them to their first title

With four titles to their name nobody has lifted the Confederations Cup more often than five-time world champions Brazil.

And on Friday they return to the scene of their maiden triumph as the Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour arrives in Saudi Arabia.

In 1997, under the command of Mario Zagallo, Brazil landed in Saudi Arabia for the inaugural FIFA Confederations Cup. The Selecao were preparing for the World Cup in France and spirits were high among a talented squad seeking their fifth world title. 

Brasil x Arábia Saudita 1997

Following the great success of the Fahd King Cup in 1995, FIFA were keen to create a regular competition and the Selecao were joined by Uruguay, Mexico, South Africa, Czech Republic, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and, of course, hosts Saudi Arabia.

With the best player in the world at the time in Ronaldo, Brazil brought pizzazz to the show and were led by the devastating Ro-Ro duo as Romario joined Ronaldo in attack. Also featuring the likes of Denilson, Leonardo, Dunga, Bebto, Cafu, Rivaldo and Roberto Carlos, Brazil were clear favourites.

Romario hit a brace in their opener as Saudi Arabia were shrugged aside 3-0 in Riyadh and but stumbled to a goalless draw against Australia in their second match of the group stage. A Junior Baiano strike secured a 3-2 victory over Mexico in their final group game as the Canarinho marched on to the next round as group winners.

Ronaldo & Romario Brazil 04061997

Zagallo’s charges met the Czech Republic in the semi-final and were led to the final by Ro-Ro, with Romario and Ronaldo each finding the net in a 2-0 win.

The fiercest strike partnership in world football then turned in a performance for the ages in the final, as each grabbed a hat-trick in a 6-0 demolition of Terry Venables’ Australia in the final, played out in front of more 65,000 fans.

Romario would end the tournament as the competition’s top scorer with 7, followed closely by Ronaldo on 4 as Denilson was marked out as the Player of the Tournament.