Red Bull’s Neymar Jr’s five kicks off in Lebanon

15 Apr. 2016- Brazil and Barcelona’s Neymar Jr is giving thousands of young football players the chance to step up their game by staging a unique knockout tournament. Fresh from his nomination for FIFA’s World Player of the Year award, the striker is to invite players at the age of 16 to 25 years in more than 35 countries, across six continents, to team up for his five-a-side tournament, ‘Neymar Jr’s Five’.

“It’s a fun, fast and technical game,” said Neymar Jr, who grew up playing the same type of fast-paced five-a-side football in his neighbourhood. “It’s the kind of football I’ve always loved to play and this time we play it with a special twist to it: the five-player teams lose one player each time they concede a goal until there are no players left, or the 10-minute game ends. This will be even more exciting.”

The qualifying process in Lebanon will start on April 23 in Sin El Fil, followed by qualifiers on April 24, April 30 and May 1 in Dahieh, Sarba, and Nabatieh, respectively.

The national final will be on May 2 in Khan El Franj – Sidon, advancing to the World Finals in July in Praia Grande, where Neymar Jr grew up, started his professional career, and lately founded “Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr”.

“I always dreamed of putting together my own signature tournament and inviting the best teams over to my hometown. This finally became a reality so I’m really looking forward to see what these players can do – and have a great time doing it.”

Neymar Jr, who alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, has lit up La Liga with Barcelona, helped devise the format of the tournament. He will also invite the winning team to a match at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain.

The world final will be in July at the “Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr” in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The institute’s aim is to offer extracurricular educational and sporting activities to the most socially disadvantaged children and families to promote social inclusion and encourage participation in the community. The “Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr” opened its doors in 2014. It is the second ‘FutbolNet’ program in Brazil in partnership with FC Barcelona Foundation, following a program primarily set up in the favelas in Rio de Janeiro two years earlier.

You can check more info about the event here.