To mark its fifth year of progress in youth football in the Middle East, LaLiga has announced that it will host its 24th LaLiga Promises International Tournament in Abu Dhabi between 27-29 December, in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council. The U-12 tournament features some of the best academy sides in world football and it will be visiting the Middle East for the first time.
In celebration of such a milestone, LaLiga will bring one of its most prominent stars and ambassadors, Fernando Morientes, to the event to meet with the local media. In addition, Fernando Sanz, Director of International Institutional Relations & Director of LaLiga Ambassadors and Legends, Vicente del Bosque, former Coach of the Spanish National Team, and Esteban, former professional goalkeeper will also be present at the event.
LaLiga’s famous global football star, Morientes shared that LaLiga is always keen on advocating Spanish football around the world with unwavering determination to create the biggest base of loyal fans outside the country’s borders; especially in the Middle East. This goal has been met through their pro-active global activities.
Spanish teams representing FC Barcelona, Real Betis, Sevilla FC, Atlético de Madrid, RCD Espanyol de Barcelona, Valencia CF, Villarreal CF and Real Madrid will take on other European giants including Juventus, Inter Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Benfica and Borussia Dortmund. In addition to this, three local sides will be represented in the form of Al Ain, Baniyas and Al Jazira, the first time that this number of UAE teams have had the chance to showcase their talents. The games include 7 players on the field (including the goalkeeper) and last for 24 minutes total. The final games will be 20 minutes total with a 10-minute half time.
The Abu Dhabi Sports Channel, the strategic partner of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, intends to transfer championship matches as an exclusive carrier in the Middle East region, as the channel provides more than 7 cameras. On the side-lines of the tournament workshops will be organized targeting the coaches and administrators of Abu Dhabi club academies to learn about the best international experiences in football. There will also be a dedicated area for all fans and family members at Gate 2 of Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium.
"Holding events like this in the Middle East is part of our commitment to grow the love of the football internationally and we are honoured to be collaborating with Abu Dhabi Sports Council to bring this to life in the Middle East , Maite Ventura, LaLiga´s MENA General Director commented. “Being physically present is so important for LaLiga to be closer to its MENA fans and we strongly believe that our strategy has a major impact in the growth of these young football players and the lessons provided, at all levels of our business, are invaluable.”
Talal Al Hashemi, Director of Sports Development Sector at the Abu Dhabi Sports Council said: "We hope that the participation of Al Ain, Al Jazira and Bani Yas teams will be as required, to benefit from the experience of the most popular club players in the world, as the tournament aims to sustain partnership plans and learn about advanced football experiences in order to advance the work of football academies in Abu Dhabi clubs on All technical and administrative levels. "
Al-Hashemi concluded by saying, "We hope that this tournament will highlight football talents in the various participating teams, especially the teams of Abu Dhabi Al Ain - Al Jazeera - Baniyas Clubs, and that it will benefit all participants, including players and technical and administrative bodies."
LaLiga Promises was created with the purpose of promoting youth football and to claim all the positive values the sport represents, such as respect, effort, teamwork, and commitment -all while creating unforgettable experiences for the teams and players involved. LaLiga Promises tournament is the most prestigious tournament for this age group in the world and continues LaLiga’s commitment to growing football at the grassroots level.
Games will begin at 5PM GMT+4 on Friday, 4PM GMT+4 on Saturday, and 2PM GMT+ 4 on Sunday, finishing with the final match on Sunday at 4:30 PM ET. All tournament games played on Field 1 will be broadcast live by Abu Dhabi Sports.
All fans will be admitted free of charge and are encouraged to support their favourite teams.