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Youth League: Future Stars With Big Hearts UEFA Youth League

This week, four of Europe’s top youth club football teams will travel to Nyon (Switzerland) to compete in the UEFA Youth League finals.

Thus, Atlético, Benfica, Juventus and Salzburg, winner of the 2017 tournament, are preparing for their semi-final at the Kolovra Stadium, which can hold 4,000 spectators. The winner will be crowned on Monday, April 25.

The 2021/22 season finally sees the return of the tournament, after the previous edition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the UEFA Youth League provides players with invaluable experience on the pitch, it also gives them the opportunity to grow on a personal level.

Support for local sports

Kolovra StadiumUEFA via Getty Images

While in Switzerland, the four clubs will participate in educational and social programs that will promote teamwork and fair play among the players.

They will notably meet the chairman of the UEFA referees committee, Roberto Rossetti, who will talk to them about the laws of the game. They will then attend a briefing given by UEFA experts on integrity. Finally, they will join the UEFA Foundation for Children and PluSport, an organization that provides sports services for people with disabilities, for a range of activities in the community.

Through these activities, UEFA and the clubs want to give back to the Nyon community, which has welcomed the competition with open arms since the first season in 2013/14.

Since 1995, UEFA’s headquarters have been located in this city in French-speaking Switzerland, a few kilometers from Geneva. European football’s governing body provides financial support for people in the region, especially young people, to practice the game and encourage the development of cities. Other sports facilities.

Daniel Roselat, Mayor of Nyon

“After a year’s absence due to the pandemic, Neon City is delighted to once again host this high-quality sporting event. I would like to emphasize that hosting the UEFA Youth League tournament is an opportunity for the Neon region. I am glad that apart from its sporting dimension, this event has a social aspect. Football fans, and young people in particular, have a tremendous opportunity to admire the stars of tomorrow. »

Learn more about Colovray Stadium

Community at the heart of the UEFA Youth League

Each season, all clubs participating in the competition receive a €500 grant from UEFA to invest in social projects. In this way, players can commit to their local community and support it.

likeAtlético and its training sessions with underprivileged childrenMany other players have given time to people less fortunate than them.

Manchester United

For example, the Manchester United team has run mental health awareness and training sessions in local high schools that have partnered with the Manchester United Foundation.

On this occasion, the players planned a physical activity aimed at encouraging children to be active to maintain their mental health. They then held a question-and-answer session with the students, during which they learned how to create a safe space for children to talk openly about their emotions, manage difficulties and present the support they can get.


Paris Saint-Germain players have created a “Solidarity Canteen” that provides cooked meals to students at ROUGE and BLEU schools, an educational and sports program of the Paris Saint-Germain Foundation that supports underprivileged children. Other team members visit hospitalized children to talk to them and their families.

The Seville team visited the ecological park Bioalverde, a non-profit organization established to help people at risk of social exclusion, and made a donation to it.

Other clubs have supported charitable initiatives this season, such as Hajduk Split, which has campaigned for the adoption of abandoned pets, and Deportivo, which has engaged in various actions to fight cancer.

UEFA educational app for players

Bubanj Mateja, Red Star Belgrade's overall winner, holds the UEFA Players' Award.

Bubanj Mateja, Red Star Belgrade’s overall winner, holds the UEFA Players’ Award. Red Star Belgrade

In addition, all teams participating in the UEFA Youth League receive training and free access to the UEFA for Players app, which contains guidance and advice tailored to each stage of a player’s career.

Designed to enhance football knowledge and career management, the UEFA For Players app offers modules on integrity, anti-doping, reputation, finance, fair play and second careers and life after football.

Players earn points with each module they complete and top performers each month win prizes including the official UEFA Champions League ball. The winner of the 2021/22 season is Mateja Bubanj of Red Star Belgrade, who has a ticket to the Champions League final. Juventus’ Lorenzo Dalavalle finished second, earning them a ticket to the Europa League final. In third place was Luka Boskovic, a teammate of Bubanj, who received a PlayStation 5 from Sony.

If Red Star Belgrade has two of the three best players of the season in its ranks, the first step of the stage for the “team” category goes to Deportivo La Coruna. Inter, meanwhile, finished third. Three teams were awarded with contributions to a team building event.

Reinvestment for the sake of play

At all levels of the football pyramid, the youth league is a good example of how UEFA redeploys revenue from its elite men’s competition to the development of European football. The Euro, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League funds revenue generated by thirteen other UEFA men’s and women’s competitions: Women’s Euro, Women’s Champions League, European Under-21, Euro Futsal Men and Women, Futsal Champions League, European League, Under-17 Championship and Under-19 Men’s and Women’s, Under-19 European Futsal Championship and Regions Cup.

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