Joga Bonito Mumbai crowned National Champions of Neymar Jr’s Five 2018
With over 2600 teams, bringing their best to the field, at the end there could only be one champion that would take home the title of Neymar Jr’s Five. Joga Bonito Mumbai emerged victorious and became the National Champions of Neymar Jr’s Five 2018. Anthony Machado, Johnson Dsilva, Mervin Stephen, Preetam Mahadik, Daniel Fernandes, Scott Dsouza and Pratik Kadam will now represent India in the World Finals 2018 at Instituto Projeto Neymar, Brazil, on July 21st, 2018 and meet the Paris Saint Germain superstar in his own backyard.
Spanning across 14 cities, the tournament witnessed footballing talent proving their mettle from every corner of India. The qualifiers took place across 14 cities including Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Goa, Delhi, Aizawl, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kochi and Shillong. While the tournament organized by energy drink giant Red Bull has been taking place for three years now, there was a massive spike to the number of participating teams this year in the country being an impressive 2680 as compared to the 2420 teams, which participated last year.
While the champions beat the intense competition in their respective cities, it was time to showcase their skills before the country in the national finals at HotFut, Begumpet, Hyderabad on 27th April. Divided into five groups of three, each city champion faced two others in a league format. Team Kalinga Rangers FC Pune, Jobeit FC Guwahati, Miggas FC Aizawal, Minerva FC Chandigarh, Joga Bonito Bangalore, Quarter Backs FC Ahmedabad, Joga Bonito Mumbai and Imperial FC Delhi made it to the quarterfinals; leaving last year’s national champions Hyderabad Sporting FC out of the tournament. In a closely fought contest, Joga Bonito Mumbai outplayed Joga Bonito Bangalore (5-0) and Kalinga Rangers FC Pune outplayed Miggas FC Aizawal (5-0) to reach the finals.
The spectators bear witness to a bout of highest calibre when Joga Bonito Mumbai and Kalinga Rangers FC Pune went head-to-head in the finals. Joga Bonito Mumbai took away the National Champions trophy scoring (1-0). The finalists put their best foot forward, overcoming the last and final hurdle to win the coveted title and the glory of becoming the winners of Neymar Jr’s Five 2018, India.
Final Scorecard: Joga Bonito Mumbai beat Kalinga Rangers FC Pune by 1-0.
Speaking about the third edition of Neymar Jr’s Five and looking toward the world finals, the Brazilian superstar Neymar Jr. says, “I’m extremely delighted with the third edition of Neymar Jr’s Five. There are already more than 60 countries in this edition, which is a clear indication that the tournament is gaining prominence. It gives me immense pleasure to know, that tournament is helping young and budding footballers show off their skills on the global stage. I hope they all have a great experience and I am looking forward to meet all the country champions in Brazil.”
Gurpreet Singh, Red Bull athlete and India National Football Goalkeeper said, “I believe Neymar Jr’s Five and Red Bull have given the young Indian footballers a brilliant opportunity to represent India at a global stage. It is great to see so many up and coming players play the beautiful game. I would like to wish the Joga Bonito Mumbai best of luck for the World Finals in Brazil.”
Anthony Machado from Joga Bonito Mumbai, winners of the National Finals of Neymar Jr’s Five 2018 said “The format for Neymar Jr’s Five is very unique and different from field football and we have always wanted to win the national championship. The rules make it a lot more fun and competitive – you lose your focus for a minute and bam, you lose a player, thus the concentration level needs to be very high. We would like to thank Red Bull and Neymar Jr’s Five for giving us this opportunity, it certainly has helped us improve as a team. We are confident and looking forward to represent our country in Brazil.”
Neymar Jr’s Five gives football lovers across India a chance to use their street skills to carve their path to glory, and a chance to represent the country in Brazil. The tournament organised by Red Bull has a unique, fast-paced format. Neymar Jr’s Five sees two teams of five players, sans a goalkeeper, have 10 minutes to strut their stuff and win a chance to impress Neymar Jr. The twist in this thrilling affair is that for each goal scored by a team, a member of the opposition will have to leave the field. The team with the maximum players take the spoils. The winner is the team with most players on the field (goals) after 10 minutes or if all players are eliminated. Each team must have participants of the age 16-25 and 2 players can be older than 25 years.
The inaugural edition of Neymar’s signature football tournament featured more than 65,000 people taking part across 6 continents and 47 countries. Over 100,000 players from 53 countries battled for a spot in the Neymar Jr’s Five 2017 World Finals last year set out in the hope of making it all the way from the qualifiers to the World Final in July at the Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr in Praia Grande, Brazil and won by Romania. Hyderabad Sporting FC had lifted the Neymar Jr’s Five 2017 national champion trophy in a field of more than 2000 teams from 12 cities and travelled to Brazil for the World Finals. This year, the tournament qualifiers are taking place across 62 counties and 6 continents and featuring more than 1,00,000 players; making it the biggest 5-a-side football tournament in-terms of locations & participants. This year, teams from around the world had again set out in the hope of making it all the way from the qualifiers to the World Final in July at the Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr in Praia Grande, Brazil