Calling upon young athletes to: “Play Football, Change the Game,” Danone Nations Cup (DNC) is proud to announce the 2019 edition of the world’s biggest football tournament that is expecting to see over 2,000,000 girls and boys aged 10-12 years old compete locally in 27 countries before a chance to represent their country at the World Final.
Egypt’s DNC has been kicked off with the participation of 32 sports academies and more than 3,000 players. Egypt Academy was announced as the winner of DNC 2019 and will play at the World Finals at RCDE Stadium, home stadium of RCDE Espanyol de Barcelona (Spain), on October 12th. To celebrate more than 20 years of football excellence, the DNC has unveiled a refreshed purpose in line with Danone’s ‘One Planet. One Health’ vision.
During the opening ceremony, DNC Egypt’s ambassador, Abdel Zaher El Saqqa, commented: “This is an opportunity to achieve your dreams. I did not have this opportunity when I was a little boy. Through football, you can achieve so many things in life. Football is not only a sport, but it is a way of life. By playing football, you are always a winner – you become a role model for others. You eat healthy, you exercise daily and you get the opportunity to get exposed to different cultures around the world. The Danone Nations Cup is providing you with this golden opportunity at this young age, and I encourage you all to seize this chance and learn from it as much as you can. We need more companies like Danone to host such national competitions – under the theme, Play Football, Change the Game,” and to make a difference through the power of football. I am certain that we will see a few world-class champions among this group in the very near future.”
The winners of the tournament, Egypt Academy, are led by Captain Sherif Ahmed Abdel Moneim.
In his statement, Abdel Moneim, said: “The dream of playing in Barcelona was a strong incentive for all players to overcome any challenges and display their skills … of course, we cannot forget how Mohammed Salah became an international role model for every aspiring football player. Traveling around the world and learning about different cultures has become an attainable dream for all participants in this tournament." The Egypt Academy team trains at the Zoser Stadium in Shubra Al-Khaimah where several prominent players such as Yousef Mohammed, Ziad Reda, Yunis Ehab and Youssef Atef, in addition to many other players in the Egypt’s National League started their careers.
The children’s mothers who participated in the qualifiers were extremely happy and excited with the tournament, and all agreed that the dream of traveling to Barcelona was a very strong incentive for their children. They also benefitted from the wealth of information provided by Danone Egypt about the basics of healthy nutrition and how this information would contribute to their children’s health and well-being.
In addition to being a high-level sport competition, Egypt’s Danone Nations Cup aims to focus on healthy dietary habits for young athletes – titled under the theme “Eat like a Pro.” During the final qualifiers, Danone held health-related activities and entertainment designed to remind families and children of the importance of nutrition for healthy generations.
Henri de l’Epine, Managing Director of Danone North East Africa, commented: "It was an exceptional tournament and we hope the team will continue on this road to success in Barcelona. We intend to enable the players to become not only football players, but also citizens of the world. We want to encourage these players to make a positive impact on their world and to reflect Danone’s vision of One Planet . One Health. Through the Danone Nations Cup, we got the opportunity to raise awareness on healthier dietary habits and to make our young athletes realize their true potential through awareness of their world."