Ranking new Finalissima cup against every other major international trophy
With intercontinental glory on the line, Euro 2020 winners Italy face Copa America champions Argentina will clash at Wembley on Wednesday in the inaugural super cup match formally known as the CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions but also branded as the “Finalissima.”
The game 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 just two games (the first being in 1985, won by France) the Artemio Franchi Cup was discontinued in the wake of the Albiceleste’s victory. However, a fresh accord between the two confederations involved has seen the super cup rebranded and relaunched for 2022.
The trophy at stake was revealed earlier this week and comprises two slender figures (representing the two competing continents) holding the main vessel aloft, with the new Finalissima logo added to the cup where their hands meet.
So where does the trophy rank compared to the other major trophies on offer in men’s international football?
With a golden globe sat atop a spiralling column, the Confederations Cup — contested by each continent’s reigning champion in the year before a World Cup — is obviously made to resemble FIFA’s top prize despite bearing only a smidgeon of its prestige. It’s a pale imitation of the real thing, and is therefore a fitting emblem of an unnecessary competition that was quietly scrubbed from the international calendar in 2019.
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) June 11, 2016
Newly introduced in 2012, the OFC Nations Cup consists of a silver ball that is engraved with a map of the South Pacific and is held aloft by three skewed prongs, each of which is etched with different traditional emblems reflecting the Melanesian, Polynesian, and Maori cultures. Unfortunately, this doesn’t prevent it from looking like an overly elaborate desk paperweight from certain angles.
It’s early days and the trophy doesn’t really mean anything yet, but the silverware at least looks respectable thanks in large part to the matte, nickel-plated finish used on the metalwork. The slightly bulbous cup is 17 inches tall, weighs in at 18.7 pounds and — in a pleasant touch — is intended as a tribute to the original design of the trophy that was hoisted aloft by France nearly 40 years ago when they beat South American champions Uruguay 2-0 in Paris in 1985.
Directly inspired by the competition logo, the UEFA Nations League trophy consists of a large, conical scroll of metal that is supposed to represent a universal flag for all 55 competing nations that is “elegantly wrapped” around a flag pole. Although it is lighter than the Cup of Champions, It’s also 28 inches high, making it a bit unwieldy.
Standing 20.5 inches tall and made in Milan, the CONCACAF Nations League trophy is a twisted spire of silver-plated brass that sprouts from a flat base made of raw stone which CONCACAF says is a symbol of “homeland.” While the competition was only founded in 2018, the trophy a more visually interesting that in its UEFA equivalent.
Introduced in 2019, the Asian Cup is a truly unique trophy that is modelled on a lotus flower, with the five pairs of petals said to symbolise the five sub-confederations that come under the AFC umbrella — AFF (Southeast Asia), CAFA (Central Asia), EAFF (East Asia), SAFF (South Asia), and WAFF (Western Asia). At 30.7 inches tall 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 armour plating on the thorax of some giant robotic insect is also an unexpected bonus.
The Cup of Nations trophy is the third design to have been used at the tournament since it began in 1956, with this iteration first introduced in 2001. The golden globe affords the cup a tinge of vintage 1920s Hollywood glamour, while the ring of soccer balls orbiting the planet make this trophy even more distinctive.
It’s perfectly fitting that the nations taking part in the Gold Cup are indeed competing for a gold cup, but the angular Art Deco-esque styling of CONCACAF’s trophy really helps it to stand out against the rest. The design of the cup has been very slightly altered over the years, with the most modern update introducing a tiered base with all past champions since 1991 etched around it, as well as the words “Gold Cup” and “Copa Oro” engraved alternately around the outer rim. Although, from a health and safety standpoint. those pointy handles could have somebody’s eye out.
The prize on offer to the champions of Europe was originally made by the renowned 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 general secretary between 1954 and 1955. The design has been subtly modernised over the years and, while it maintains it’s classic silhouette, the 2024 version will be bigger and heavier than ever at 23.6 inches and 17.6 pounds — that’s 18 cm taller and 7 inches more than the cup Italy lifted at Euro 2020.
This heavyweight colossus is certainly worthy of the occasion and boasts an ornate silver bowl that stands atop a multi-tiered base studded with miniature brass plaques bearing the names of past winners. The original design from 1916-17 was 24 inches tall and weighed around 15 pounds, but that was upped to 29.5 inches and 20 pounds in 2011 by the addition of a fourth tier to the sturdy solid wooden base in order to facilitate more winners’ plaques.
Naturally, the World Cup trophy serves as a symbolic representation of the ultimate footballing glory. Golden, gleaming, iconic, coveted, and dripping with prestige. Silvio Gazzaniga’s design replaced the more austere Jules Rimet Trophy (a small cup that could be easily held in one hand) in 1974 and features two robed people holding the entire world aloft. It stands just 14 inches tall, weighs a little over 13 pounds and is made from 18 carat gold and malachite (the greenish bands around the base). Since 1994, the trophy has also had a baseplate underneath that has the names of all past World Cup winning nations engraved on it, from Uruguay in 1930 to France in 2018.