Final 16 of The Chance 2012 selected for prize of a lifetime.
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.
They will train at and play against some of the most renowned youth set-ups in global football, including Manchester United, Juventus and the US Soccer Federation. Under the watchful eye of club coaches and elite scouts, they have the chance to get noticed and potentially win a professional contract.
The Final 100 gathered in Barcelona for one week to train and play in the shadows of Camp Nou at FC Barcelona’s training centre – all with one aim, to make the Final 16.
The group of young footballers was cut to just 26 on the final day of competition which saw the players step out at FC Barcelona’s Mini Estadi – in a semi-final game refereed by celebrated English match official Howard Webb - as the coaches made their final decision on the selection of the best 16.
“To the winners, I say a massive well done,” said Jimmy Gilligan, Head of the Nike Academy. “Out of 100,000 footballers who entered The Chance they are the top 16 and I am looking forward to working with each of them. They should enjoy the moment but there is still a lot of work to be done. We will be taking them on an incredible trip to play some of the best youth teams in the world.”
For Gilligan today’s announcement was the conclusion to a memorable week. “The Chance programme is so authentic; everything is in place for the coaches, the scouts and the players to work to the best of their abilities.”
The winners were announced at a gala dinner with Laurent Blanc, ambassador of The Chance and former manager of the French Football Federation, as special guest. He commented: “These players have the talent to go forward and achieve their dreams. The Chance has given these youngsters a unique opportunity and we may well see them in the professional game.”
One of the Final 16, Gonzalo Balbi of Spain said: “I can’t put into words what being here and being selected means to me. I have just tried to give everything I have to The Chance. I am so happy.”
The Final 16, on accepting their place on the global tour, will depart in January 2013.
Final 16 winners:
#32 Dimitris Komnos, Greece
#8 Wallace Camilo, Brazil
#27 David Fernandes, France
#83 Bubakary Sonko, Sweden
#77 Melusi Zulu, South Africa
#72 Petar Golubovic, Serbia
#79 Gonzalo Balbi, Spain
#100 Brian Iloski, United States
#92 Jose Figura, United Kingdon
#7 Dario Van Den Buijs, Belgium
#76 Teboho Charlie Tsotetsi, South Africa
#41 Ryosuke Kinoshita, Japan
#68 Kirill Laptev, Russia
#78 Saifeddine Alami Bazza, Spain
#6 Ismail H’Maidat, Belgium
#39 Marco Di Lauro, Italy
15 years since its initial release, the legendary Air Force One Linen returns this week.
15 years since its initial release, the legendary Air For...
The new agreement will run from 2018 until 2026.
Army Black Knights will wear the new “paratrooper” look on December 10.
Army Black Knights will wear the new “paratrooper” look o...
Inspired by the merging of ocean and land in Rio de Janeiro, the new NikeLab Air Zoom Legend x RT brings elements of Nike's past experimentation in boots into a new Chelsea boot.
Inspired by the merging of ocean and land in Rio de Janei...
A throwback-inspired KYRIE 2 PE for Kyrie Irving.
This white Nike Kobe A.D. PE is designed for DeMar DeRozan.
The Nike Flyknit Racer is available December 9 in the "Earth Tones"...
For the third year in a row, the Diamond Quest begins with all four schools in the College Football Playoff wearing Nike uniforms.
For the third year in a row, the Diamond Quest begins wit...
A closer look at Nike's "New York Made" campaign including a new Nike Soho store, an artist-designed basketball court and more.
A closer look at Nike's "New York Made" campaign includin...
NIKELAB CHI opens on December 1.
The Nike Detroit Community Store’s inaugural grant benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan and more.
The Nike Detroit Community Store’s inaugural grant benefi...
Jordan Brand honors the 20th anniversary of Space Jam with the launch of DEFY, new take on the classic story to inspire a new generation to defy expectations.
Jordan Brand honors the 20th anniversary of Space Jam wit...
The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 in Black/White-Blue Lagoon releases December 1.
The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 in Black/White-Blue Lagoon releas...
NikeLab MA5 opens in Minami Aoyama, Tokyo on December 1.
Tiger Woods will lace up a new signature shoe when he returns to the course this week.
Tiger Woods will lace up a new signature shoe when he ret...