The Gothia Cup
Never mind the Euros, when it comes to school and youth football, there is only one tournament that matters: The Gothia Cup. Held annually in Gothenburg Sweden and open to boy and girl teams aged 11-19, this one-week long tournament is simply the biggest and most international youth football competition in the world. It allows school and youth football clubs the experience of participating in a vibrant international competitive event, and has been an important launchpad for many of today’s top international stars.
First started in 1975 with 275 teams competing, this year’s tournament will see a staggering 1675 teams competing, representing 81 nations including England, Germany, Uganda, Mongolia and Singapore. Running from Sunday 17th to Saturday 23rd July, a whopping 4115 matches will be played over 100 fields / venues, and many will be streamed live to the Gothia Cup website. The focal point of the tournament will be the 43,000 capacity Ullevi stadium. Purpose-built for the 1958 World Cup, this world class venue will host both the spectacular opening ceremony and the tournament’s final match where this year’s champions will be crowned.
The Gothia Cup represents a wonderful opportunity for school and youth club players to get a taste of competing in the international arena, playing against teams from the four corners of the earth. It certainly gives players the sense that football is a truly universal sport. As with the Olympic Games, the tournament is keen to welcome players of both sexes, regardless of nationality, race or religion. These ideals continue with the organisation working with UNICEF to champion children’s rights and supporting football projects in developing countries.
Participants typically return home inspired by their experience at the competition. Playing in an international environment typically inspires young players to raise their game and play out of their comfort zone. Unsurprisingly, the Gothia Cup has provided an important stepping stone for many of the worlds top international players. Famous previous participants include Brazil’s Julio Baptisa, (Barcelona, Milan and PSG) striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, (Arsenal, Man City and Spurs star) Emmanuel Adebayor and the mighty England striker Alan Shearer who played in the tournament as part of the Wellington Juniors team in 1985.
We have considerable experience in organising school and youth football tours to top tournaments including the Gothia Cup. These tours are great fun for everyone taking part and who knows, it could be a significant international debut for one of your star players dreaming of a professional career.