10 Feb 2020
Doha, 10 February 2020. From February 13 to 24, some of the world’s greatest football talents are gathering at Aspire Academy to compete in the 9th edition of the “Alkass International Cup”. This year features the U16 teams of prestigious clubs such as Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, FC Internazionale, Paris Saint-Germain, FC Zenit and Kashiwa Reysol.
Aspire Academy is using the tournament as an opportunity to give student-athletes born in 2003 and 2004 more experience in competing at a high level. Drawn in Group A, they are going to face Suwon Samsung on opening day, February 13, at 7pm and defending champion Rangers FC on Monday, February 17, at 4:45pm.
“This is the most prestigious tournament in the world for this age group. If you look at the quality of the participating teams, the quality of the pitches and the environment that has been created for this event, it’s great to be part of it. We are grateful to have the chance to be here and the games help our players to make another step in their personal development as well as it helps them to grow together as a team,” explains Aspire Academy head coach Lucas Nardi.
For Faizal Asadi, this will be the second time he’s going to play at the “Alkass International Cup”. Last year, Aspire was the only team that was able to beat later champion Rangers FC. This year, they might need a similar performance to make it out of the group stage. “It’s a great feeling to play here. Last year I felt that we could improve in every game we played. I can promise that we are going to give it our best to get a successful start against Suwon and then we are expecting a tough and physical game against Rangers FC.”
“Playing in front of our home crowd is something that makes us proud. We are not going to put us under too much pressure and we are going to take it game by game. We are going to listen to our coach and try to play our game. Two years ago, Aspire showed that it’s possible to reach the final and this achievement is a big motivation for us. If we can manage to get this far this year, we definitely want to keep the trophy in Doha,” says Aspire-player Mobarak Hamza.
Find out more about the 2020 "Alkass International Cup" on https://internationalcup.alkass.net/u17/