After more than 400 matches, the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup came to an exciting close on Sunday, with 6 teams, each winning across their own age groups, crowned as champions of the youth football tournament following a dazzling display of skill in Abu Dhabi.
Working with main partners like Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi and PUMA GCC, the 2023 edition of the tournament returned for the first time since 2019, and drew in teams from around the world, with 128 teams from 13 countries flying to the capital of the UAE to play in the tournament. Players and fans alike were treated to an incredible weekend of football with more than 1000 goals across the 400 matches in Zayed Sports City.
In attendance to officially open the two-day tournament was Manchester City Women’s Head Coach Gareth Taylor. Watching the games with keen interest to see the next generation of male and female footballers in action, Gareth was also on-hand to award the ecstatic winning teams with their trophies.
Simon Hewitt, Tournament Director and Senior Manager Football Operations MENA for City Football Schools, said: “It’s been an amazing weekend of football at the 2023 edition of the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup. The tournament has had it all, from wonderful goals, fantastic saves and brilliant teamwork. Importantly, all players coming to Abu Dhabi have had a chance to play with and against young people from around the world and make new friends.”
“The game of football is a way of uniting like-minded people and we’ve seen that in abundance this weekend, and lots of happy children enjoying the game too. We thank all our partners for their support in making this weekend possible, and we congratulate not only the winners but all of the 128 teams for playing their part in making this year’s Abu Dhabi Cup the best tournament to date.”
His Excellency, Talal Al Hashemi, Executive Director of the Sports Development Sector at Abu Dhabi Sports Council said: “The return of the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup this year has been a landmark moment within the Abu Dhabi youth sporting calendar, as we were delighted to welcome young athletes from across the globe to Zayed Sports City for this year’s tournament.
“Events of this calibre showcase Abu Dhabi’s unparalleled ability to host international sporting events, and the opportunities presented by this tournament to allow for footballers of the future to develop their skills and test themselves against the best young players is vital to our goals for promoting youth development. We congratulate each and every player for their outstanding performances this weekend.”
Following their success in the Abu Dhabi Cup, the winning teams from each of the 6 age groups, went into a draw with Fursan Hispania Football Academy winning a once in a lifetime trip to visit the City Football Academy in Manchester, taking in training sessions with the coaches and experiencing the sights and sounds of where the Manchester City first team stars train.
Off the pitch, the Abu Dhabi Cup provided the players and fans with a range of activities to enjoy, from surprise appearances from City’s club mascots, Moonchester and Moonbeam to the Premier League trophy on display for fan pictures, and other fun activities across an incredible weekend.