SKF became main partner of Gothia Cup over ten years ago, because we really want to support a tournament for young people from all over the world. A meeting place where they can get to know each other, and where having fun and playing football is more important than religion, skin color and cultural differences. We also want to give underprivileged kids, that otherwise can’t afford to travel to Sweden, the chance to come to Gothenburg and be part of this. So we started the Meet the World pre-tournaments. They are arranged every year in about twenty of the countries where you can find SKF.
Since the start, 220 Meet the World tournaments has been arranged in 42 countries, with over 27 000 players. We are very proud that we have brought 3 500 of them to Gothia Cup, so they can share their love for football. Afterwards, they can leave Sweden with lifelong memories and friendships. And an even better understanding of why teamwork and and having fun across borders are important.
Meet Luan Xiang Ning from Dalian Bayi Hope Primary School, China
Luan Xiang Ning is 12 years old and is a midfielder for Dalian Bayi Hope Primary School in Dalian, China. Dalian Bayi Hope Primary School won the SKF Meet the World tournament in China.
(Luan Xiang’s coach, Zhang Qian, is also in the picture)
How would you describe your week at the Gothia Cup?
It was a useful and valuable experience. I learnt a lot and exercised my body and mind.
Who is your favourite player?
Messi and the players in the Chinese national team. When I grow up, I want to play for China.
What do you think about Sweden?
It is very clean and the cars stop for you to cross the road.
Meet Teddy from IME le nid des bois Manou, France
Teddy Champion is 17 years old and is the captain for IME le nid des bois Manou from near Châtres. IME le nid des bois Manou won the SKF Meet the World Special Olympics tournament in France to qualify for the Kim Källström Trophy
How long have you been playing football?
I’ve been playing football for five years. My team mates and I play as much as we can.
What do you do when you’re not playing football?
I work with parks and forest maintenance.
What’s been the highlight of your visit to Sweden?
We’ve had a lot of fun. It’s been awesome. We’ve met more players that we didn’t know before.
Any other messages you’d like to share with the world?
We’re proud to be representing France. We’ve had a great week and it’ll be a memory for life.
David Hernandez is 16 years old and plays as a central defender for Santa Fe (Boys U16) from Bogotá. Santa Fe won the SKF Meet the World tournament in Colombia.
What is your ambition with football?
“To play for Barcelona! Before that, I would be very happy to make my debut in Independiente Santa Fe – the best team in Colombia!”
What do you do in your spare time?
“I don’t have so much free time after school and football practice which is five days a week. But I like playing X-Box with my brother. I listen to music and I do extra football training on my own to get even better.”
Why do you love football so much?
“My father played for Santa Fe. My whole family is passionate about football. My dream is to play professional football.”
Who is your favourite football player?
“Iniesta in Barcelona – he’s simply the best!”
What does it feel like to be part of the Gothia Cup?And what’s the best thing about the tournament?
“It’s fantastic to meet so many people from different places. It’s a beautiful opportunity and a great experience for me and my team. The best thing is the girls, so many beautiful girls!”
Meet Portia Prempeh from Tema, Ghana
Portia Prempeh is 15 years old and captain of Tema Central, the team that won the regional Meet the World tournament in Ghana.
“It felt great. The competition was very tough, but the team really came together and we were very happy to win.”
What are you looking forward to about coming to the Gothia Cup?
“It is a great opportunity for us. I’m happy to be selected, and we will give it our best shot to meet our goals in Sweden.”
What are your other interests apart from football?
“I very much enjoy school. I have four years left to study and want to become a lawyer when I finish.”
Have you and your team any particular ambitions for the Gothia Cup?
“Yes. We are coming to take the trophy back to Ghana!”