Top European Youth Soccer Teams to Play Tournaments in Qatar
ASPIRE, the Academy for Sports Excellence in Doha, Qatar, is to host a major youth soccer tournament as a part of "Spread Your Wings", the November sporting event which officially marks the opening of ASPIRE's Sports Dome, the world's largest indoor sports dome.
Participating in the tournament are the youth teams of five of Europe's football elite - Ajax Amsterdam, Arsenal FC, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Barcelona, Celtic FC - who will compete along with the ASPIRE football squad in a three-day tournament.
This will be the region's first youth tournament to feature such high profile squads, and many football fans are queuing up to see some of the stars of tomorrow compete in Qatar. Many of the young players due to play in the event have been tipped as future first team players and all of the featured squads have competed in youth football at the highest levels in Europe.
All matches will be open to the public and take place on ASPIRE's outdoor football pitches. Entry to the games will be free of charge. The final will run on Saturday, November 19, when people will also have the opportunity to tour the fantastic new ASPIRE dome.
For the young student athletes of ASPIRE, the matches represent both a significant sporting challenge and an exciting opportunity to play against some of the best in the world.
The ASPIRE squad has already competed successfully in football competitions and sporting camps around the world, but the November games will provide them with their toughest competition yet.
Coaches at ASPIRE are confident that the tournament will provide an important training opportunity for the student athletes, as well as a memorable sporting occasion for the people of Qatar.
Dr. Andreas Bleicher, Sports Manager at ASPIRE said: "Our aim is to develop a pool of talented athletes who are able to compete for a place in professional clubs in major leagues around the world. Competitions like this Youth Football Tournament will help develop our student athletes and ultimately help to progress them towards this goal."
The tournament forms the centerpiece of the exciting array of events lined up for ASPIRE's "Spread Your Wings" event, which aims to celebrate the best in sporting achievement. Also running during the event will be a sports science conference and a major table tennis competition, along with master-classes by sporting legends including Pele and Maradona.
ASPIRE Football Head Coach, Michael Browne, said: "There is a lot of excitement about the forthcoming tournament, both among the student athletes of ASPIRE and the wider Qatari public. Football relies upon the passion of supporters and the involvement of the local community, so we're hoping for a good crowd to cheer on the ASPIRE side in this high level tournament."
ASPIRE was established to identify, educate and train elite athletes and offers the Middle East's most advanced football program for students.
The Academy is also responsible for the development of the Qatar junior national football squads. It starts coaching talented children from the age of six with children joining the Academy at the age of 12.
The 'Spread Your Wings' event will run from November 17 - November 19, 2005, at the ASPIRE Academy for Sports Excellence, Qatar.
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