The UAE qualifiers are currently underway, and there’s still time to take part. To fill you in quickly, here’s everything you need to know about the global competition.
1) The tournament
Brazilian footballing star Neymar Jr is the perfect poster boy for this competition. Here, Neymar Jr’s Five is all about being fast, fun and technical.
“[It’s] the ultimate kick about with your best mates, and just how I learnt the skills I play with today,” says the FC Barcelona player. “To win the five-a-side games and outplay them all, you need strategy and a good understanding of what the best moment is to attack and defend. A good defence is very important as well and can bring your team very far in the tournament.”
2) Neymar Jr’s Five is now in its second year
In 2016, the football competition attracted over 65,000 players from 47 countries. This year, more than 50 countries are taking part in the qualifiers, including Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Philippines, Nigeria, Pakistan and of course, the United Arab Emirates.
Each country’s winner will be jetting over to Brazil this summer to attempt to take home the 2017 trophy.
3) The last man standing wins
No, really. Here, it’s all about having the right skills to make it to the very end of the game. Kind of like a football version of dodgeball.
Two teams of five players enter a match, with a game not lasting longer than 10 minutes. Once a team scores a goal, the other team loses a player. The game ends whenever one team is out of players.
4) It’s open to all
The best thing about this football competition is that it’s truly inclusive. First of all, there are no gender limitations, and the majority of players should be between the ages of 16 and 25. And for the first time this year, two players can be over 25.
5) Last year’s winners were from Brazil
Beating over 10,800 teams, Brazil’s Anjos de Bola (Angels of the Ball) emerged victorious in the 2016 World Final.
A few months after their win, Neymar invited the team to FC Barcelona’s training ground as a reward for their victory. For most of the childhood friends, it was their first trip outside Brazil.
6) The World Final takes place in Neymar Jr’s hometown
This summer, the national finalists will fly to Brazil to take part in the World Final, set to be held at the Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr in Praia Grande, the footballer’s hometown where he grew up playing Futsal.