Omani junior footballers return home with sweet memories from Barcelona

MUSCAT: Budding Omani footballers returned home from Barcelona with sweet memories of Barcelona, Mundialito 2017. They just landed at Muscat airport after participating in junior world cup, 24th edition, recently held in Costa Dorada, Taragona, (Catalonia) in Spain from the April 8th to 16th. Some of the best junior football teams from 35 nations across the globe participated in the world gala event in Spain. Three teams from Oman i.e. U-11, U-10 and U-8 participated in the international sporting event and learnt the tricks of the world’s most popular game. They were represented by Muscat Football Academy in the global event.
991890For the whole week, young Omani footballers witnessed the fierce competition among world’s best football teams. During the event, they learnt many things like capturing the ball, maintaining a lead in the game, keeping the high morale during the game and ultimate coordination to win over the tough opponents. “The whole event was a great experience not only for the kids, but for us the parents as well. We knew each other more now and developed the close-knit relationship among different team member and their parents. I wish to thanks to all the participants Muscat Football Academy,” says Abu Fawaz, parent of a junior footballer.
All the three teams displayed great team work, sacrifice, solidarity, sportsmanship, optimism, dedication and commitment to the game. They put their best performance on the playground. The under-11 team showed that they have talent to put Sultanate among the leagues of champions. They played very well and gave a tough fight to the players from the land of five-time world champions (senior) — Brazil. They forced Brazil to a draw with 2-2 score in the starting. After containing Brazil, U-11 team contained another world champion Poland to 1-1. They continued their fierce display of football by thrashing a local Spanish team by 8-0.
All this display of sportsmanship and enthusiasm came to an end in semifinals, while competing for silver medal. They lost by 5-4 when the match referee dismissed one of their goals. But, this lose is temporary, next year they plan to come with better reparation to clinch the cup.
Raif al Busaidi, Vice-Captain of U-11, said, “It was a great experience to play in the semifinal of such an important tournament. We played very well and gave a tough time to the opponents, yet we lost it at the end.” Talking about the sweet memories of the world tournament, Raif said, “The most memorable moment for us was the opening ceremony of the tournament and to see our team parade in front of 8,000 fans, carrying Oman’s flag.”
“Of course, it was huge setback for our aspirations of winning a medal at the world level, when the match referee dismisses one of our goals. Nevertheless, my team member learnt a lot from all these matches. We look forward to next year championship. We would work hard in the coming 991889days and prepare in a better way to clinch a title next year. Now, we have only one thing on our minds. It is bringing the cup during next championship,” said, Aiham al Shamsi, Captain of under 11.
“Our participation in this tournament has been an incredible learning experience,” says a young footballer, who participated for the first time in the world event.
Under the captaincy of Gino Schattorie, the under-10 team which was put in a tough group, played against professional clubs such as Valencia, they had a tough week but fought hard to play for the bronze category and lost their match against USA, and a local Spanish team and Canadian team.
Under-8 team had a victorious start with 5-2 win against a local Spanish team; but lost their second game by 4-2 against Aquel Atletico CF team. Adam al Barwani, the captain of under 8, said, “It is the beginning of our development as a professional footballer. We a have a lot to learn in the coming years.”
“These young footballers’ superb performance shows that junior Omani footballers have a great hidden talent. Given a chance, they are capable of beating any team in the ground and securing a place in the world football league,” said Chuck Martini, Head Coach of the Muscat Football Academy.