DUBAI, UAE, May 22: Budding Kuwaiti Club had their dreams of representing the Middle East in a global football tournament realized at this year’s Volkswagen Junior Masters world championships in Paris.
Kuwaiti Club travelled to the sixth global final of the Volkswagen Junior World Masters – one of the world’s largest and most popular youth football tournaments – on the 13 – 16 May at the Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines, in Paris, France, to represent the Middle East against qualifying teams from 21 countries competed to become the Global Champions.
The 21 teams were divided into four groups through an official draw, with the Middle East team placed in Group C, facing opponents from Austria, Ireland, Kazakhstan and Brazil. Kuwaiti Club team missed the second place in the group due to an unfortunate loss in the last group match against the strongest group team, Austria.
The Kuwaiti Club team members’ commitment to a daily training schedule lead them to compete in a heated match full of action, great tackles, fast passes and extraordinary team work against Volkswagen Junior World Masters 2016 runners up, Austria, who unfortunately knocked the regional representatives out of the championships with a 1:0 win. Germany snatched the title from the Austrian team in the finals with a final score of 1:0, making them the Volkswagen Junior World Masters 2016 champions.
Kuwaiti Club Goalkeeper Ahmed Al-Rashidi commented after the game, “The team and I are passionate about football – our hero is Messi – and we train every day to make sure we are in our best condition. It was a dream come true to travel to Paris and meet other football fans from across the world. Even though we didn’t win, the team was very happy to represent the Middle East at global competition.”
Commenting on this year’s global finals, Thomas Milz, Managing Director, Volkswagen Middle East said: “The Junior Masters programme works to unite, encourage and nurture the football players of tomorrow, as well as develop the youth within our community. Over 4000 aspiring footballers participated in the programme since it launched in the Middle East in 2011, with an an impressive 50 young athletes reaching the international bi-annual final in Europe.
“Kuwaiti Club were fantastic representatives of the Middle East in this year’s global final and their dedication to training and their love of football is inspiring to see. I would like to thank them for their passion and dedication and wish them the best of luck for the future – no doubt we will see rising football stars of the future coming from Kuwait Club.”
Earlier this year, Kuwait Club defeated Omani based, Muscat Grassroots in a heated battle, claiming the title of Volkswagen Junior Masters Middle East champions, snatching it from two-time reigning champions Al Jazira Club from Abu Dhabi.
The Volkswagen Junior Masters competition began in Germany over a decade ago, as part of Volkswagen’s commitment to support youth and sports around the world. This year, the teams participating from the Middle East included Al Jazira (Abu Dhabi), United Sports Academy (Abu Dhabi), FCBESCOLA (Dubai), Spanish Soccer School (Dubai), Go Pro Sports (Dubai), Kuwait Club (Kuwait), Al Jahraa Club (Kuwait), Muscat Grass Roots (Oman), SEK School (Qatar) and Dutch School (Qatar).