Franck Riboud, after the 1998 World Cup, wanted the “Danone” brand to organize… World Cup for children. His vision was to create a tournament for the U10-U12 category, where talents from all over the world could showcase their skills..
The Danone Nations Cup tournament was born in 2000, on the initiative of Franck Riboud. The Danone brand has created a tournament on a global scale for children aged 10-12, which not only teaches them how to play ball, but also draws attention to issues related to the environment, among others, said Emmanuel Faber, CEO of Danone.
In the premiere edition, the hosts, the French, turned out to be the best, with a total of eight nations competing, and Poland placed 4th. This is our best result in the history of this tournament, but one must take into account the fact that in later editions up to 40 nations took part! An interesting fact is that in 2012 the finals were organized at… National Stadium in Warsaw.
The number of foreign national teams. This is the thing that certainly sets the games apart.
Organizing a tournament for children from dozens of different countries, arranging their flights, accommodations, translators, is truly a huge and not easy undertaking.
However, due to the pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 competitions were canceled.
Well, exactly, and who had the opportunity to perform in these competitions? Here you have to mention goalkeepers Jasper Cillesen (Valencia), Anthony Lopes (Olympique Lyon), Sergio Rico (Paris Saint-Germain), defenders Phil Jones (Manchester United) and Alberto Moreno (Villarreal CF), midfielders Marc Cucurella (Brighton) and Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), and then there are strikers in the form of Breel Embolo (Borussia Monchengladbach), Amine Gouiri (OGC Nice), Alexandre Lacazetta (Arsenal) or Giovani Dos Santos (currently Club America, formerly FC Barcelona and Los Angeles Galaxy). A huge role in promoting the tournament is also done by well-known ambassadors, which include: Cafu, Victor Baia, Gheorghe Hagi or Ada Hegerberg, winner of the Golden Ball.
Since 2017, girls have also participated in the tournament, and the first world finals were held in New York, while the trophy went to Brazil.
The “Danone Nations Cup” tournament is not limited to mere competition on the pitch, but also pays attention to aspects related to habits of proper nutrition, physical activity or Fair Play principles. What do the world finals themselves look like? Here, too, there are attractions and games for the youngest, specially prepared zones and numerous entertainers.