FIFA has extended its cooperation agreement with the Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup – the most significant international youth tournament – until 2019.
“This is a sign of our commitment to Zurich as a city of sport – as well as a sign of our commitment to youth football," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter after the contract was signed. "The stars of tomorrow are our sport’s biggest asset."
This year the 77th edition of the tournament, which has such a rich tradition, will take place over the Ascension holiday on 13 and 14 May, with defending champions Clube Atletico Paranaense (Brazil) going up against Werder Bremen (Germany), SL Benfica (Portugal), Feyenoord (Netherlands), IFK Goteborg (Sweden) and Bursaspor (Turkey) as well as Swiss teams FC Zurich, Grasshopper Club Zurich, FC Luzern and hosts Blue Stars.
FIFA took the event under its wing in 1991, and four years later it was renamed the Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup. The competition can look back upon a long and successful past, as international stars of the calibre of Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst, Klaus Augenthaler, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Josep Guardiola all gained international experience at a young age at the event.
President Blatter is another who has played in the tournament, back in 1955 when he was a striker for FC Sierre. “This tournament will always be close to my heart because it reminds me of my youth,” he said.