New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) Neymar Jr took to the field for the first time since his injury at the Copa America as the two strongest five-a-side football teams in the world were crowned at the Red Bull Neymar Jr’s Five World Final in Praia Grande, Brazil.
After games at the World Finals played on July 12 and 13, Hungary (Mixed) and Slovakia (Women’s) came out on top at the Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr in the neighbourhood where the Brazilian grew up.
Zsirkretak from Hungary and Spartak Myjava Zeny from Slovakia join Deportivo Mago from Mexico and Resenha 013 from Brazil (2018), Tao United from Romania (2017) and Anjos Da Bola from Brazil (2016) as winners of the tournament.
Red Bull Neymar Jr’s Five 2019 India Champions, Kalina Rangers from Mumbai represented India at the World Finals in Brazil, and gained valuable experience with a historic win against Hungary, who were eventually crowned winners of the tournament.
Unfortunately, their tournament ended at the group stage following a draw against Luxembourg and defeats against Spain and Angola.
Over 100,000 players signed up for a qualifier in this year’s competition as elite five-a-side players battled it out in 40 countries across six continents.
Hungary won seven out of their eight matches, including a 2-0 win over Spain in the final, to land the title in the mixed competition. Their only defeat came against Team Kalina Rangers from India. The honour of being the second female world champions went to Slovakia, who were consistent throughout the tournament and narrowly overcame Japan 2-1 in the final.
Neymar watched the semi-finals and finals from the stands with friends and family, before stepping onto the field with his own special team to face the world champions in two memorable matches.
Speaking after the competition, Neymar said, “This competition reminds me of my childhood when I used to play 5×5, 3×3, 2×2 in the streets here. I am really proud to be able to host people from so many countries in the neighbourhood where I grew up.”