Pep Guardiola today launched "The Chance" 2012 – a unique global football talent search that gives young amateur footballers from around the world the chance to prove themselves on an elite stage and take their game to the highest level.
Created to support talented youngsters who are not currently in the professional game, The Chance will allow the best young footballers (over 16 years old on March 1, 2012) to train and play at the leading facilities in world football, showcase their skills in front of elite coaches and mentors, and develop and improve their talent, with one aim: to get noticed.
Players from 55 countries around the world will take part in The Chance trials in 2012. The best 100 players from these trials, watched by top Nike coaches, will then travel to a global final in Spain, to be held at FC Barcelona’s famed youth academy. There, they will experience world class facilities, elite coaching, and input from nutritionists, psychologists and fitness conditioners as they progress in the program.
The Chance was first launched in 2010, and has since seen thousands of talented footballers participate in coaching at the very best level. And this year’s program promises to be the most global and competitive yet.
The final 100 players will take part in an intense training and competition schedule in Barcelona, while being evaluated by a world-class team of coaches and scouts. Players will be assessed through training drills including Nike SPARQ, a training and conditioning system that helps build better athletes.
The best 16 footballers from the global finals will be chosen by Nike to experience the ultimate training tour as their reward; facing some of the most renowned academy teams in world football, including Manchester United and a U.S. Youth National Team during a once-in-a-lifetime four week tour.
Players will live the life of an elite footballer and train at the best facilities under the watchful eyes of club coaches and scouts. A golden chance to get noticed and potentially win a professional contract.
Players can register themselves and their teams by building a "team page" on The Chance app, which is available via the Nike Football Facebook page. In addition, they can receive programme updates via @NikeFootball on Twitter. Nike scouts will then select teams to visit and watch them play, with a view to spotting talented individuals and rewarding them with entry to their local country final. Nike scouts will also talent spot individuals from local football networks.
Pep Guardiola, global ambassador for The Chance and FC Barcelona Manager, said: "The Chance gives young players from around the world the opportunity to showcase their talent and develop their skills on a global stage.
"The programme celebrates those players with passion for the game and the best technique, giving them the chance to get noticed and reach their potential."
Other regional ambassadors include: Rio Ferdinand (England), Mano Menezes (Brasil), Laurent Blanc (France), Marco Materazzi (Italy), Giovanni van Bronckhurst (the Netherlands) and Andriy Shevchenko (Ukraine).
Seon Min Moon from Seoul in South Korea, a winner of The Chance in 2010, proves that the programme can change lives. After joining the Nike Academy in the UK last season, (last year’s prize for finalists) his performances against sides including Arsenal FC and Inter Milan caught the eye of Swedish scouts, earning him a two-year contract with Ostersunds FK.
He adds: “The Chance gave me the opportunity to play with and against players from all over the world, helping my game, and getting me noticed by my new club. It’s a dream come true. I hope my story inspires the players in this year’s programme.”
Players can register from March 1. For more information on The Chance visit www.nikefootball.com.