Madrid, Sept. 17: LaLiga's headquarters in Madrid on Tuesday hosted the presentation of the renewal of the agreement between Danone and the organisation, with the presence of Fernando Sanz, LaLiga's director of international institutional relations and director of the LaLiga Ambassadors and Legends Project; David Albelda, the LaLiga ambassador; Steve Brangeon, director of the Danone Nations Cup; and Carlos Bosch, head of media and coordinator of the Danone Nations Cup in Spain.
The event also provided the setting for the group stage draw of the DNC World Final, the largest Under-12 football tournament in the world, which included the participation of its world ambassadors: Ada Hegerberg and Carles Puyol.
Danone and LaLiga have been collaborating for years on promoting grassroots football and the values of sport among young people. Fernando Sanz, LaLiga's director of international institutional relations and director of the LaLiga Ambassadors and Legends Project, expressed his satisfaction with the alliance and stressed that "for us it is a pleasure to form part of the Danone Nations Cup in order to strengthen our work on transmitting values in sport in general and football in particular. Respect, tolerance, camaraderie and teamwork are fundamental for young people's development, which is why we are pleased to form part of a competition that identifies with all of them."
World Final group stage draw
The 56 teams who will play in the Danone Nations Cup World Final now know who their opponents will be in the group stage. The draw took place following the presentation of the renewal of the agreement between Danone and LaLiga, with the participation of the DNC world ambassadors, Ada Hegerberg and Carles Puyol.
The four Spanish teams who will play in the World Final are set to face top-level opponents. The side who will play the 2018 boys final will face the Netherlands, Romania, Morocco and China in the group stage, while the girls will take on reigning champions Brazil, Germany and Italy. The Spanish representatives who will play in the 2019 final also face tough competition. The girls will need to beat Argentina, England and Uruguay to make it through to the next stage, while the boys will take on Bulgaria, France, Senegal and China. All of the groups are packed with talent and will put Spain's potential to the test.
World Final will be played on Oct. 12
The DNC 2019 World Final will be played at the RCDE Stadium on 12 October. This is the 20th edition of the "U12 world cup". It forms part of the initiatives aimed at celebrating the centenary of the company Danone, established in Barcelona in 1919, and it will unveil the world champions of the 2018 and 2019 editions. In total, over 700 boys and girls from 27 countries will represent their nations in the grand final of the "U12 world cup". Furthermore, this will be the third year in which the DNC features a girls World Final, demonstrating Danone's commitment to women's football.
Proud to be an ambassador for a tournament like the DNC: Puyol
Carles Puyol, the male world ambassador for the Danone Nations Cup, assured: "I am proud to be an ambassador for a tournament like the DNC, given everything it represents for the boys and girls taking part. In this tournament, the young stars will not only show off their sporting talent, but also their determination to make the world a better place through football. I'm glad to be part of a project whose objective is to promote values through sport. I'm looking forward to attending the World Final and enjoying the great football that the boys and girls are bound to serve up for us."
Ada Hegerberg, the female world ambassador of the Danone Nations Cup, remarked: "Getting involved in the DNC is a really important challenge for me. I think that together we can show the world how important football can be for boys and girls, because not only are we shaping future football stars through it, but also citizens of the world who are responsible and look after the society around them. In addition, in such an important year for women's football, being an ambassador for a tournament with such a solid commitment to girls' talent is a source of great pride."
Albelda underlines importance of the tournament
David Albelda, the LaLiga Santander ambassador, underlined the importance of tournaments like this for educating future footballers: "To be a good player, not only do you need to play football well; it is essential to demonstrate values and principles both on and off the pitch, and tournaments like the Danone Nations Cup help to achieve that."
Inspiring boys and girls to transform them into agents of change through football
In this very special edition, the DNC has a new logo: "Play football, change the game," which reflects the ambition of transforming all of the boys and girls competing in the tournament into citizens of the world, all the while promoting healthy lifestyles and diets. One of the actions which will be carried out with this objective will be the opportunity the children will be given to vote for the UN Sustainable Development Goal which they think is most important, with this goal set to receive support from the DNC next year.
Since its inception in 2000, the Danone Nations Cup has earned credibility in the eyes of world football, thanks to its efforts to transmit values such as respect, camaraderie, hard work, clean play and good dietary and hydration habits. It will be an unforgettable experience for the boys and girls representing their countries and seeking to take home the trophy. In addition to a day of pure football, the upcoming stars will take part in the Change the Game Challenge, a combination of sporting, creative and multicultural activities which will raise money to provide access to drinking water in schools in India, a cause which the DNC has supported throughout this year.
Big tournaments serve up big games, and the DNC World Final will bring us a very special one. It consists of the Legends game, where LaLiga legends such as Fernando Morientes, Albelda and Joan Capdevilla, ambassadors of the Danone Nations Cup, and veterans and friends of RCD Espanyol will play a match to entertain the spectators. For every goal, the Danone Nations Cup will make a donation to the causes which it is supporting this year. In addition to the trophies for the champions, the DNC will give out a Fair Play Award for the team who best promote the core values of the DNC both on and off the pitch.
Source: Press Release