Hundreds of young local footballers who have already registered to compete in the forthcoming first round of Red Bull Neymar Jr’s Five, a fast-paced global signature tournament which is kicking off this weekend, are in for an extra special treat if they make it to the National Final.
It was confirmed that the final two teams to make it through the qualifying rounds will get the chance to play at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park on Friday 27th of May after Northern Ireland have played their final home match against Belarus, before heading to France for Euro 2016.
Jim Magilton from the IFA said:“What a fantastic opportunity this is for the final two teams to be able to take to the pitch after the Northern Ireland team have waved farewell to their fans, to play for the prize of jetting off to Brazil for the world finals of the Neymar Jr’s Five in Praia Grande, Brazil.
“This is a fun, fast-paced and technical game that will give young local footballers (16-25 yrs) the opportunity to put teams of 5 to 7 players together to compete to represent Northern Ireland and step up their game along with thousands of young football players from more than 35 countries, across 6 continents.
“The teams are in for a fun, energetic and tactical tournament with a special twist to it: the five-player teams lose one player each time they concede a goal until there are no players left, or the 10-minute game ends, which makes it even more exciting,” said Magilton.
One of the first qualifying rounds in Belfast is completely booked out but there are still a few places left for the Playball venue at Stormont as well as the other venues in Cookstown and Coleraine. For more information on how to register your team go to http://www.neymarjrsfive.com/country/northern-ireland/
Neymar Jr, who alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez has lit up La Liga with Barcelona this season, helped devise the format and will also have the winning team as his guests at a match at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain.
The world final will be held in July at the Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The institute’s aim is to offer extracurricular educational and sporting activities to the most socially disadvantaged children and families to promote social inclusion and encourage participation in the community.
The Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr was opened in 2014 and is the second ‘FutbolNet’ program in Brazil in partnership with FC Barcelona Foundation after a first was set up in the favelas in Rio de Janeiro two years earlier.