Being able to compete with leading clubs from different countries can be key to creating world-class talent, according to the organisers of the world’s most high-profile under-12s tournament, LaLiga Promises.
While the Spanish league takes its annual winter break during late December and early January, the stars of the future take centre stage in front of a global audience. The 23rd edition of LaLiga Promises was broadcast in more than 60 countries this year, offering a uniquely high-stakes tournament atmosphere to those taking part.
Organised by LaLiga, the tournament has evolved into an international competition with leading clubs from seven countries invited to participate. This is in keeping with LaLiga’s aim to support the growth and quality of football around the world, not just in Spain.
This mix of international competition and professional organisation creates the best possible environment for young players to learn and develop, according to LaLiga. The players also have a chance to showcase their talents to an enormous audience; broadcasts of the tournament drew a cumulative TV audience of more than 9 million in Spain alone.
“Exposure to international competition is not just good for clubs, but for football in general” said Cristina Sánchez, head of corporate brand operations at LaLiga. “Bringing together teams of different backgrounds and styles is hugely influential on players’ development and also creates football of the highest quality. With every year that passes we become more committed to the global expansion of LaLiga Promises, to give young players the world over the best possible chance of success.”
A look at the tournament’s past stars underline the success of the tournament to date, with World Cup winners Thomas Muller, Andrés Iniesta and Iker Casillas just a few names among its alumni.
Teams from Inter Milan, Paris Saint Germain, Benfica, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus and Abu Dhabi joined ten Spanish sides (Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Villarreal, Real Betis, Valencia, Sevilla, Espanyol de Barcelona, Tenerife and Las Palmas) for this year’s tournament. The eventual winners were Real Madrid, who edged a nervy penalty-shootout against Inter Milan 3-1, after scoring a last-minute equaliser to bring the match to 1-1.
The next International LaLiga Promises tournament will be held this summer in the United States.