Football at its purest: La Liga Promises

 

La Liga Promises, held every year during the European winter break since 1996, is an international event run by the LFP (Liga de Fútbol Profesional) and El Larguero Foundation in Spain. This year the tournament celebrated its 21st edition as the world’s best under 12 competition.
Promoting youth football as well as displaying and emphasizing all the positive values that sport represents, this tournament has seen the emergence of stars such as Xavi Hernandez, Juan Mata, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Piqué, Fernando Torres, Cesc Fabregas, Thomas Müller and many more.
The most recent La Liga Promises edition took place on 27th to 29th of December in Tenerife (Canary Islands), with an impressive list of clubs attending. Aside from La Liga heavyweights Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid, Spain was represented by other top flight youth teams including Sporting Gijón, Real Betis, Sevilla, Valencia and Villarreal. The competition also saw this year some outstanding international sides competing such as Paris Saint-Germain FC, Juventus FC, Middlesbrough FC and Borussia Dortmund.

 

 

The kids received no shortage of encouragement with over 3,000 supporters per day taking their place in the stands to catch a glimpse of some of the worlds up-and-coming stars. LCFootball Australia Director Vitaka Rodriguez attended the tournament together with numerous other football personalities including Javier Tevas (La Liga’s president), Miguel Angel Marín (Atletico de Madrid CEO), Jordi Roura (FC Barcelona director of Youth Football) or Christian Karembeu (Former Real Madrid Player).

 

LCFootball Director Vitaka Rodriguez with FC Barcelona Director of Youth Football Jordi Roura at the La Liga Promises international tournament.

“It was a wonderful experience to watch some of the world’s best youth teams competing against each other. They all showed a great technical ability, fighting spirit, determination and fair-play.” said Vitaka Rodriguez.
FC Barcelona were crowned champions after a thrilling 6-1 triumph over Atletico Madrid in the Grand Final. Both teams, coached by Sergi Milà and Dani Pérez respectively, displayed a great show during the tournament. Aside from the individual talent of the players, it was obvious when watching the teams playing that there had been an incredible amount of work done during the year on the training field.
Vitaka Rodriguez, who saw close up the unique teaching methodologies of both clubs highlighted, “Their quality and discipline was outstanding, aside from their impressive individual talent on the pitch, the kids also showed immense effort, great teamwork, tactical discipline and respect for the opposition. You can only give credit to their coaches, there is a lot of work done behind the scenes.”

 

La Liga Promises concluded with FC Barcelona taking home the trophy, a great tournament which gives clubs the opportunity to identify and showcase talent, shining the spotlight brightly on the future stars of world football and allowing the players to gain valuable experiences early on in their career. Football at its purest.

 

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Awards

The awards ceremony saw Barça also gained individual recognition, headed by captain Adria Capdevila, who was named the Player of the Tournament. “I dedicate this award to my family, to the great players here and to all my teammates who weren’t part of the squad this time,” the midfielder said.
The goalkeeping prize went to Villarreal shotstopper Sergi Torner, whose saves played a key role in his side’s run to the quarter-finals. Meanwhile, Barcelona pair Xavi Planas and Toni Caravaca shared the goalscoring prize with Atletico’s Alejandro Garnacho, after all three ended up with four goals.
Last but not least, Sporting’s Jose Luis Rodriguez was named the Coach of the Tournament. “I’d gladly swap this trophy for having got to the final, but it’s the kids’ excitement that will stay with me,” he said aptly, summing up the significance of a competition that represents the very essence of football.

 

 

La Liga Promises

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