The 13th edition of the Young Champions youth football tournament, organised by adidas in association with UEFA, was played on Saturday at the UEFA Champions Festival, with The Ganses, Street Soccer Kids and Beneditense among the winners.
Ater the conclusion of the tournament at the festival in Lisbon’s Praça do Comércio, Portuguese internationals Nani and Ruben Amorim presented the happy trio with their medals and tickets to the UEFA Champions League final. The competition was originally at the 2002 UEFA Champions League final in Glasgow, and almost 2,000 children from across Portugal took part in this year's regional edition.
Again held in the build-up to the final of Europe's premier club tournament, the Under-12 category kicked off the afternoon's festivities, with Porto-based Beneditense coming out on top in front of Boavista (also Porto) and Borussia d'Outro Mundo (Lisbon).
In the U14s, Street Soccer Kids of Coimbra edged Cifozis (Lisbon) and Soccerkids (Porto), while the final match was in the U16s section, where The Ganses (Lisbon) were victorious over Gandarenses (Coimbra) and Academia Fábio Coentrão (Porto).
Following on from the opening of a new maxi-pitch at Clube Oriental de Lisboa on Thursday – overseen by 2004 UEFA Champions League winners Maniche and Costinha (FC Porto) – the event, played over three hours in the Lisbon sunshine, was the latest of UEFA's grassroots initiatives in the host city this week.
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