Monday, 23 October 2017

Sparta wins Generali CEE Cup over Fluminense FC

By Raymond Johnston | Prague Daily Monitor |
29 July 2016

The weeklong Generali CEE Cup has ended with Sparta Praha defeating Brazil's Fluminense FC with a score of 4:1 at the Bohemian's Ďolíček Stadium. The same two teams met in last year's final as well, with Sparta also victorious.

The sixth annual Generali CEE Cup saw 12 teams of under 19 year olds from eight countries on three continents compete in a weeklong series of games at venues across the city including Strahov Stadium. The tournament gives under-19 teams from Central and Eastern Europe a chance to see the different playing styles used in other regions in the world. Proceeds from the ticket sales went to the charity UNICEF to support children in Ukraine affected by the conflict.

The finale began with events for children at 3 pm, with all participants getting a present. The game itself began at 6 pm. Due to rain during the day, the teams had a difficult game but also a fast one.
Sparta first scored in the 23rd minute and once more before Fluminese finally had success in the last minute of the first half, which ended 2:1 in favor or Sparta.

Sparta dominated the second half, with another goal in the 70th minute and the fourth and final on right before the whistle.

The entire tournament was watched by Jan Suchopárek, coach of the Czech national team for under 19 players and the ambassador of the tournament. “I was pleasantly surprised by the level of the tournament and the quality of matches. It shows how important it is for Czech teams to have international experience already in the youth categories. The [two] Brazilian team was well as Leipzig presented football at the highest level, which our players can rarely experience,” Suchopárek said, adding praise for the international referees from Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Denmark.

Generali CEE Cup director and founder Roberto De Blasio was satisfied with the tournament. "The final match was a worthy highlight of a fantastic football week. During 20 games we witnessed many wonderful moments and beautiful goals. Prague again experienced international football at the highest level. For the second consecutive year a famous Brazilian club participated, suggesting that the Prague tournament has a world-class and excellent reputation. Its prestige is enhanced by the fact that more and more clubs from around the world are participating. While we invite clubs from different continents, always we try to keep our tradition — and that is the clash of units primarily from Central and Eastern Europe,” De Blasio said.

Jiří Cívka, the spokesman for insurance company Generali, pointed out that sports are an important part of a healthy lifestyle. “Generali is a long-term supporter of sports and also due to our partnership with Sparta Prague, we are glad that this tournament was won by Sparta. From my heart I congratulate them on their victory,” he said. The tournament's charitable aspect is also something that he praised.

Pavla Gomba, director of UNICEF Czech Republic, said that the proceeds from the game will go toward safe drinking water and teaching aids for children in conflict-affected areas of Ukraine.
A benefit for teams this year was a statistical analysis of the games provided by Russian company INSTAT. There was also a seminar on scouting for talent, which explained the value of software as well as other aspects. Scouts from Italian clubs Udinese Calcio and Atalanta BC participated along with a representative of LFScouting Software.

Final standings in the Generali CEE Cup:
1. AC Sparta Praha
2. Fluminense FC
3. A. A. Ponte Preta and RB Leipzig (match for third place canceled due to rain)
5. FK Sarajevo
6. FC Academy Pandev
7. Beijing Renhe F.C.
8. SK Slavia Praha
9. Győri ETO FC
10. Vasas Kubala Academy
11. AS Trenčín
12. Bohemians 1905