Bagan to play with Sao Paolo, FC Brussels, Inter Milan in MUPC
Kolkata, Jun 07 (UNI) India may not be featuring in the world's biggest soccer extravaganza, but Mohun Bagan U-15 will be brushing shoulders with some of the premier clubs in the world.
Over 8,000 teams in over 45 countries around the globe will compete to take part in the leading international football tournament for Under-15's.
Talking to UNI Mohun Bagan Secretary Anjan Mitra said, ''It's a great honour for us. Mohun Bagan will rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in the world. We hope to do justice.'' The final 20 teams, representing the very best U-15 teams in the world, will travel the road to Manchester to compete for the ultimate prize, a place in the World Final at the 'Theatre of Dreams', Manchester United's Old Trafford Stadium.
In March, Inter Milan qualified from Italy and Universidad Catolica successfully qualified from Chile.
On April 13, Arsenal has qualified from the UK by beating Everton 2-0 to qualify and in this same month, Beijing Guo'an FC qualified from China.
Hertha BSC Berlin have been confirmed as qualifier from Germany and Manchester United will qualify as host.
Mohun Bagan qualified from India and then in South East Asia qualifiers defeated Singapore in Finals to qualify for the Final round.
On May 5, Sao Paulo Futebol Clube qualified again (World Champions in 2002) by winning the Brazilian finals held in Sao Paolo.
Tokyo Verdy 1969 Jr. Youth Team won the Japanese Finals on May 5.
On May 14, Ferencvarosi Torno Club from Hungary won the European Qualification Tournament in Prague, after beating FC Basel, Swiss champions 3-1 in tie-breaker (full time score 1-1). FC Basel runners up also qualifies for the World Finals. Semi-Finalists from European Qualifiers also qualify, 3rd place FC Brussels from Belgium and 4th place Boavista FC from Portugal.
Ulsan Hyundai return again as Korean Champions, having competed in the 2005 World Finals in Hong Kong, by winning their county finals on May 14.
Athletic Club de Bilboa has qualified from Spain. Ohio FC Mutiny has qualified from USA.
Three more teams will qualify from Mexico, South Africa and Pacific zone in the next one month and will participate in the tournament to be held in August 8 to 11.
In the second round, Mohun Bagan defeated Phillpines U-15 by 4-0 and Singapore U-15 by 2-0 and topped their group. In Semi Finals, Mariners defeated Malaysia U-15 in tie breakers and in final they defeated Singapore U-15 again by 2-0.
David was adjudged Highest Scorer with 6 goals and Malswam Zuala Man of the Final. Mohun Bagan will now play in Manchester, England the final round of the tournament. MB indeed created history by qualifying for the finals of this tournament.
The Manchester United Premier Cup has had some of the most storied football clubs in the world participate, including FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Ajax, Arsenal, Corinthians, Club America, FC Porto and of course, Manchester United.
Last year the World Finals were held in Hong Kong for the first time coinciding with the Manchester United 1st Team Tour of Asia in July. The finals were co-hosted by Manchester United and Hong Kong Football Association.
Eric Cantona, Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Charlton were present in the opening ceremony.
The Teams: FC Brussels (Belgium), Hertha BSC Berlin (Germany) Ferencvarosi TC (Hungary), Inter Milan (Italy), Boavista FC (Portugal), Athletic Clube de Bilbao (Spain), FC Basel (Switzerland) Arsenal (UK), Lanus (Argentina), Sao Paolo (Brazil), Universidad Catolica (Chile), Beijing Guo'an FC (China), Mohun Bagan (India) Tokyo Verdy (Japan), Ulsan Hyundai (Korea), Ohio FC Mutiny (USA) and Manchester United (Host).