Posts tagged the chance
In early 2012, more than one hundred thousand hopefuls from around the world entered ‘The Chance,’ Nike’s search for unsigned football talent. The journey to find the best among these players encompassed more than 50 regional finals, the week-long global finals held at FC Barcelona, and a four-week once-in-a-lifetime football tour that gave the top 16 players an opportunity to compete against teams from U.S. Soccer, Manchester United and Juventus.
The top three players from Nike’s The Chance Final have been announced in Manchester this evening as the global tour draws to a close; after a six week journey that has seen the 16 finalists experience professional football and elite training at the very highest level. Marco Di Lauro from Italy, Kevin Salazar from Colombia and Gonzalo Balbi from Spain have been awarded well-deserved places in the Nike Academy, a full-time player academy based in England and supported by the FA Premier League, until the end of the season.
Buoyed by the six days spent immersing themselves in training with Manchester United, The Chance Global Tour headed to England’s National Football Centre at St George’s Park. Opened in October 2012, St George’s Park is home to England’s 24 national teams. Nike’s partnership with the FA granted the squad unrestricted access to the facility as well as elite-level coaching fromHead Coach of England U-21s Stuart Pearce and England Manager Roy Hodgson.
You may remember a few months ago, we brought you detailed updates on Nike’s “The Chance” competition – after the winners, including young British tallent Jose Figura, were selected things went a little quiet, until now….
From over 100,000 players from 55 countries, to 100 who experienced an intensive week in Barcelona. Now Nike Academy director Jimmy Gilligan and his elite coaching team have chosen the Final 16 players of The Chance 2012.
The Final 16 will now experience the ultimate training tour, visiting some of the best federations, clubs and facilities in the world – with one Nike Academy contract at stake.
The best 26 players from the Final 100 played a ‘final’ game at Barcelona’s impressive reserve team stadium,Mini Estadi, under the scrutiny of the Nike Elite Scouts and coaching team as they look to select the final 16 players for the training tour and ultimately a place on the Nike Academy.
Emotions ran high tonight at The Chance final as the 100 finalists were cut to 52. The players who had put so much into their three days of hard training were told if they would be going on to tomorrow’s semi-final and the chance to further impress the coaches.
“It was hard today but I think I did OK. Whatever happens later, we will support each other. Thanks to this experience, I have learned so much about other cultures and have made genuinely great friends from all over the world.” – Jonathan Lama 18, USA