World’s biggest youth tournament has heart

World’s biggest youth tournament has heart
January 23, 2012
Gothia Cup has a lot to boast about.

The internationally famous tournament can lay claim to being the largest youth tourney in the world.

But the Gothia Cup has something more than its strength of numbers and diversity.

gothia cupGothia Cup 2011 Girls U14 Winners
It also has the biggest heart.

When more than 1,600 teams gather July 15-21 for the 37th playing of the Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden, the competition won't just celebrate international goodwill and unity but also the Special Olympics.

This year's edition will shine a unique spotlight on its Special Olympics age group that includes around 30 teams from 20 nations and will be hosted by Swedish superstar and national player Kim Källström.

It's small touches like this one that embody what Gothia Cup is all about: it's something for everyone; not just a competition, but a compilation of the world's best.

More than 70 nations come together, putting aside their cultural differences to share in the game they love. 

A staple in the youth soccer community, Gothia Cup has produced countless worldwide stars over the years including the likes of Alan Sherer, Andrea Pirlo, Sheyi Adebayor and Xabi Alonso. 

The talent is showcased in Gothenburg city, a place made for major events that has also hosted soccer's European Championship.

It's here where players forge global friendships, starting with the event's signature moment: the opening ceremonies.

More than 52,000 spectators gather to watch a display that rivals the Olympics as players proudly carry their country's flag and set the tournament off on the right course.

Played over six days, the Gothia Cup awards fourteen championship teams and rewards every participant with a lifetime of memories and relationships that surely endure.    

And in an unprecedented move that speaks to the tournament's evolution, this year will include live scores from all 4,500 games.

It's a mindboggling feature that only magnifies the breadth of the event.

Many have played in the Gothia Cup, and none have ever forgotten. 

To join the unmatched history of this worldwide tournament, visit http://www.gothiacup.se/eng/ and share in celebrating the universal love of soccer.

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