Copa Coca-Cola, the world’s largest grassroots football tournament, hosted 82 players from more than 20 countries recently for the third-annual Copa Coca-Cola International Camp in Paris, on the doorstep of the UEFA EURO 2016™ tournament.
The teens who participated in the camp this year were selected from 1.3 million footballers from more than 70 countries who participated in the 28th year of Copa Coca-Cola. During the five-day camp, the players received guidance and expertise from top coaches at PSG Academy, the youth academy of French Ligue 1 Champions Paris Saint-Germain, who helped them perfect certain skills for the different parts they will play in the team – the artist, the machine, the heart, the rebel and the joker.
The teenagers also had an exclusive session with football superstar and FIFA World Cup™ champ Xavi Hernandez. The Barcelona legend spent the morning running through training drills before taking part in matches, giving the players the opportunity to play with true great of the game. Hernandez also gave a motivating talk on the determination and passion required to succeed in the sport, before awarding the Copa Coca-Cola trophy to the triumphant team following a nail-biting penalty shootout.
During the course of the International Camp, the players aged from 13-16 and from Europe, Asia, Africa and Central America, also met with superstar Yvan Wouandji and teammates from the French blind football team who shared their own experiences and gave the group the opportunity to hone their senses by playing wearing the masks used within blind football.
All 82 players from countries including Botswana, Zimbabwe, Guatamala and India also had the opportunity to watch some of the world's best players in action at the UEFA EURO 2016 quarterfinal match between France and Iceland, while also taking in a sight-seeing tour of the French capital.
Amber Steele, director of football at Coca-Cola said, “Over the last 28 years, Copa Coca-Cola has inspired millions of teenagers around the world to pursue their passion for football, and we were so pleased to welcome the latest generation of future football stars in Paris to learn from some of the very best in the game. The standard and quality of football was incredible, as were the friendships and teamwork built during the camp. It has been an unforgettable few days for everyone.”
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