Tuesday, August 5, 2014
It's official! The World Finals of the 2014 Danone Nations Cup will take place in Brazil in the city of Sao Paulo on Sunday 16th of November
400 young soccer players from 32 countries will gather in Sao Paulo, Brazil between 14th and 16th November to compete for the ultimate goal of lifting the Danone Nations Cup trophy.
The Danone Nations Cup is the largest soccer competition for children 10-12 years old in the world and is backed by ex French football International, Zinédine Zidane. The tournament brings together, as it has for the past 15 years, nearly 2.5 million children per year from around the world.
The tournament has gained credibility and legitimacy over the years due to the ever-strengthening involvement of the national ambassadors in each country, such as Neil Tovey in South Africa, Vicente Del Bosque in Spain, Cafú in Brazil, Dimitri Berbatov in Bulgaria, Hagi in Romania, Michael Ballack in Germany, David Trézéguet in Argentina, just to name a few.
“The tournament was created with the aim of uniting the youth in a spirit of open-mindedness, sharing, fair play and respect,” said Chantel Ehlers, Danone Southern Africa Communications Specialist. “We wanted to create an event which we could identify with that is close to our values and which can get the maximum of people involved on a global scale. We wanted an event which could unite people in a spirit of open-mindedness, sharing, emotion and respect and inspire youngsters to believe in their dreams.
Preparations have started for Siphumelele Primary School from Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal, who will represent South Africa in Brazil, after winning the South African Danone Nations Cup back in June. “Immediately after the national finals training took a back seat,” said coach, Siboniso Ndwandwe. “We focused on work behind the scenes preparing paperwork for Brazil and working with the Department of Education to secure a proper training ground, securing for a professional coach and acquiring better training aids such as balls and soccer kit for the team,” said coach, Siboniso Ndwandwe
“However the boys all belong to local soccer clubs so they have been training every day,” said Ndwandwe. “Their club coaches all know about the trip and are also helping to keep the boys fit and sharp.”
Ndwandwe says that the players are technically good but their defending needs to be tightened up before the trip and he will be working on this hard over the next few months. “We know that we will be competing against players that are much taller and physically stronger than us, so we need to be able to defend well.”
Schedule for the Danone Nations Cup
14th and 15th November: Qualifications Phases - Sao Paulo (Brazil)
16th November: World Final - Sao Paulo (Brazil)
The 32 participating countries:
World Final Winners
2012 South Korea
2009 South Africa
2007 South Africa
2006 Reunion Island
2003 South Africa
2001 Reunion Island
Danone Southern Africa is part of the Danone Group, one of the fastest-growing food companies in the world. Danone is present in over 120 countries across all continents. With 160 plants and around 100,000 employees, the Danone Group is the number one worldwide for Fresh Dairy Products. Danone’s mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible.
One of the core values of the Danone Nations Cup tournament is to encourage young people to believe in their dreams. Through this initiative Danone offers a sporting event that reaches out to and inspires millions of children all over the world