Brazilians Take The Trophy

CLUBE Atletico Mineiro of Brazil have been crowned champions of the Gauteng Future Champions 2012 soccer tournament. This was after they beat their fellow South Americans, Nacional from Uruguay, 2-1 in the final of the tournament at the Nike Training Centre on Saturday. A goal in each half gave the Brazilians the trophy for the fourth season in a row. Nacional were two 4goals down midway through the second half before winger Richard Dorrego pulled a goal back from the penalty spot. Nacional beat Dutch outfit PSV Eindhoven 1-0 in the semis to reach the final. The hopefuls for Gauteng, Orlando Pirates, failed to reach the semifinals after finishing second in group B hi the round robin stage – they were one point behind Nacional. Gauteng has been hosting the tournament for four years now and provincial teams have failed to impress. Tournament organiser Ray Wheeler said the problem lies with the local teams. He said: “Our policy is to bring the best u17 sides to the country. It is up to the locals to judge themselves and see what their standard is and what needs to be done to improve it.” The top South African team, the young Buccaneers, will play in a Brazilian version of the tournament in Belo Horizonte in December. The Bucks beat US side New England Revolution 4-2 to finish fifth in the tournament. Striker Siyanda Ngcobo is among the top goalscorers in the tournament. K Stars were the only African team to reach the semifinals. The Zambians took home the bronze medal after losing 2-0 to the champions in the semifinals.

  • We had a wonderful football and cultural experience in Gauteng. The tournament and activities were very well organized and we found everyone involved extremely helpful and accommodating. We have all returned home with fantastic memories of our time in South Africa, both on and off the pitch, and have made many new friends as a result of the trip. I hope that we are invited to participate in future tournaments.

    Everton Academy Head Coach
  • The experience both on and off the field for our players during the Future Champions tournament in Gauteng was life-enriching for all those who participated. We were privileged enough to win this edition but what will be bringing us back in future is the cross-cultural education our players receive from spending time with athletes from all over the world. They are human beings before they are football players and enriching them with other cultures is as rewarding as the experience they receive on the field.

    Club Tijuana Director of Football
  • After twenty years of experiencing tournaments around the globe, Future Champions is hands down the best organized, well run International Tournament we have ever participated in. Bringing teams from dozens of different countries provided our boys exposure to cultural diversity they only read about in textbooks. It’s amazing how sport can be the cultural link that provides the opportunity to interact with each other and discover that our global community is a bit smaller than they realized. We had a football and cultural experience that will be cherished for the rest of our lives.

    Director of USYSA Select
  • For us to compete in Future Champions is much more than playing a series of matches. It is an opportunity to compete and contrast our level against the best teams from around the world and the possibility of living in another culture and environment for an unforgettable week, learning about the history of the fight for human rights.

    Director of Aspire Academy