The winning team will represent the country at the tournament’s global finals later this year.
Each and every football lover aspires to meet their favourite player one day in their lives, but for these young boys, it can actually become a reality. The 2018 edition of the annual Neymar Jr’s Five 2018, exclusively sponsored by Redbull, is already underway and teams from around the globe have the opportunity to meet the Brazilian Wizard in July 21st at his own backyard!
Now because of how popular the PSG sensation really is, teams from an amazing 62 countries have participated for the tournament in a bid to play a 5-a-side game against Neymar and his friends in Brazil later on this year. The participants can range from age 16-25 and only two players can be over the age of 25 and this highly popular tournament saw over 100,000 players from 53 countries trying their best at meeting their idol last year.
Among those 62 countries are India, who have seen teams from 14 cities have participated. While this tournament has been taking place for three years now, there was a massive spike to the number of participating team this year being an impressive 2680 as compared to the 2420 teams which participated last year.
Neymar Jr rev up his engines for Corridor & Kitchen Challenge
India had also constituted of 25% of the total global population participation in this tournament, with 2420 teams out of the 10,000 teams participating being from India. A professional futsal player for Kerala Cobras in the Premier Futsal 2017 and a player of a finalist Quarter-Backs, Mohammed Umar seems an excited person to be involved in this tournament. He spoke about it and said: “My experience at the Neymar Jr’s Five Tournament felt very similar to my experience in the Premier Futsal league.”
“I have always loved 5-a-side Football and Tournaments like these allow me to express myself with a football. To create space out of nowhere, finding those narrow angles, it involves a lot of creativity. I see Neymar as the player who brings that 5-a-side and Street Football creativity into the 11-a-side Football game, which is why I love his style of play, and idolizes him.”
Also, someone who is appreciative of this creative tournament is none other than India’s No #1 goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who spoke to Redbull about it and said: “Neymar’s signature football tournament is based on the belief that footballers never earn their skills in big stadiums at big clubs. Their journey almost always begins on the streets, with their friends, like it did for Neymar Jr. Most legends started out on a mere, obstacle-filled street, but turned the mere street into a path. A path to blinding success. Neymar Jr’s journey started with a street and a dream and continues with a stadium and a fairy-tale.”
He also added: “I think more than 60 countries from 6 continents are hosting tournament qualifiers, where players will be competing with the same dream of making it through the qualifiers, to their national final and booking a ticket to the World Final, which will be celebrated for the third time at Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr in Praia Grande, Brazil.”
The Indian qualifiers for the tournament will take place on 27th April at Hotfut, Begumpet, Hyderabad. It will definitely be an exciting contest between two of the best in Indian Futsal right now and the winners will book their tickets to represent India in the World Finals 2018 at Instituto Projecto Neymar, Brazil. The National champions will also get their opportunities to fight their way to the finals where they will meet the PSG sensation and have a dream five-a-side match against Neymar and friends.