Football Cup Barcelona is an international youth football tournament for boys and girls, held in the south of Barcelona twice a year. The tournament is designed to provide an unforgettable weekend of football of the highest quality for the youth teams who attend. One team attending the April event is North region side, Lewis United Youth 2002’s. Coach, Daniel Middler, spoke to YFS to share the excitement his side felt about being part of the tournament.
On the decision to attend Football Cup Barcelona, Middler said, “We did some research on the internet and looked at many tournaments. Both myself and Steve [Gerrard- a fellow coach for Lewis United Youth 2002’s] discussed all aspects like availability and costs. Barcelona was an easy choice as the event looks very well organised with lots of teams from different countries.”
Around one hundred teams from twenty countries participate in the April tournament, with around half that number taking part in the same event in October. It provides a fantastic combination of football and holidays, with two full days of matches in a first class venue, with each team guaranteed a minimum of five games, and several trophies up for grabs, including a several for the highest placing teams. However the participating teams also have periods of free time, where they have access to Camp Nou and nearby theme park, Port Aventura.
With a team registration fee of €199 per team and accommodation costs, there are expenses but Middler told of the team’s fundraising efforts. He said, “We have been fundraising for two years. We have had two horse-racing nights, lots of bag packing at local supermarkets and we have also done raffles with a signed Real Madrid top and a signed boot, which was popular.”
International tournaments such as the Barcelona Cup are fantastic opportunities for young players and Middler is hopeful that this will be the case for his side. He said, “There should be a high standard of football teams playing football on the ground which should benefit my team. I also think the kids will get freedom and have to take responsibility for their actions, being polite, looking after money and listening to instructions.”
The team plan to take advantage of the nearby attractions in their free time, with hopes of going to the Port Aventura theme park and taking a tour of Camp Nou, the home of FC Barcelona and the biggest stadium in Europe, with a capacity of 99,354. The stadium, which has been recognized with five-star status by UEFA, includes a museum with interactive wall spaces, audiovisual displays and an extensive display of objects which showcase the history of the club.
However the coaches of Lewis United have an extra special treat for their team lined up as part of their trip to Barcelona. Middler said, “After the tournament we have a few days of fun and the kids can we relax fully. We have just secured twenty-five tickets for the Champions League quarter-final at the Nou Camp between FC Barcelona and Atheletico Madrid on the Tuesday night which is a once-in-lifetime experience.” He added, “I hope the kids speak about this trip for years to come as I’m sure it will be an amazing experience for them all.”