Sixteen teams will compete during the national final of Neymar Jr’s Five by Red Bull at the beach side of Al Kout Mall at 6:00 in the evening, in partnership with Acqua Eva, Intersport, Al Rai Media Group, Kuwait Times and Al Kout Mall. After two weeks and six qualifiers, the qualified teams were shortlisted out of more than 150 team from different football fields: Dasma’s Hassan Abul, Goal Al Shaab and Premier Academy in Bayan.

The unique tournament was open to teams of seven players between 16-25 but this year, for the first time, each team will be able to have two players over the age of 25. During the national final in Kuwait, the teams will play a series of 10 minute games and the time will be stopped before the last minute, during which every team loses a player every time their opponents score a goal until one player is left or the time is over. The teams that qualified to the national final and will compete today are: Edello, Columbia, Abood, Al Shabab, Brazil, Real Madrid, Gunners, Ahmad Al Khadhari, Abtal Barcelona, Montakhab Al Jaliya Al Souriya, Payeluchan, King, Vendamon, Al Grinta, FC Remondtada and Pirates. The winning team will represent Kuwait against the 53 other winning teams during the World Final held in Brazil later this year, with a chance to meet and play with the Brazilian legendary and Barcelona FC’s icon Neymar Junior. The tournament is inspired by street football Neymar Jr himself grew up playing and the Barcelona and Brazil forward cannot wait to see a new season of this remarkable tournament kick off.

What did Neymar say about his dreams in 2017?

“I will always continue to wish peace, health and joy to my family and friends,” Neymar Jr said when asked about his hopes for the future. “On the field, I want to continue having fun as always and as long as I can do that, my year will be good.” “In 2017, I hope to win more games, more titles and to score many more goals – as always. I want to continue evolving as an athlete and to help my team mates on the pitch, both for Barcelona and the Brazilian national team.” “Long term, if I could choose any other country to play in it would be the United States. The culture in the US is incredible, and that really attracts me – as do the amazing cities. It would be a great place to play one day.” “I always played with my friends, using small goals.” he said.

“The tournament reminds me of my childhood and I am very proud of it. To win the five-aside games and outplay them all, you need strategy and a good understanding of what the best moment is to attack and defend. A good defense is very important as well and can bring your team very far in the tournament.” “To win a match of five players for each team and excel, you have to develop a good strategy and knowing the right moment for attack and defense, good defense is also very important, and can help your team to advanced positions in the tournament,” said Neymar. The 2016 champions, Angus da Paula, won a high-profile flight to Barcelona, and got lucky to spend time with Neymar Jr. during the club’s practices. “Meeting with the winners was fantastic, and now I’m eager to see who will succeed in reaching the 2017 World Cup final in Brazil,” said Neymar.

Neymar Jr’s Five fact file: 10,000 teams took part in the first edition in 2016 Altogether, more than 65,000 players were registered Tournaments took place in a total of 47 countries in 6 continents Regional winners go through to their national final. National winners go through to the Neymar Jr’s Five World Final. The 2016 final took place at the Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr in Praia Grande, Brazil The 2016 World Champions were ‘Anjos da Bola’ – Angels of the Ball – aged 20-22 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil The 2017 final will again be played at the home of the Neymar Jr at Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr in July Website: Facebook:

About Neymar Jr’s Five

Neymar Jr’s Five is the Brazilian forward’s signature football tournament – and a truly global phenomenon. Across six continents and more than 50 countries, five-a-side teams battle it out in 10- minute matches with a twist. Every time one team scores, the opposition loses a player, which makes it fast, technical, tactical – and unique in the world of football. More than 65,000 players from 47 countries signed up to play in the first year of Neymar Jr’s Five and 2017 promises to be even bigger. This year’s tournament is open to teams of five to seven players aged 16 to 25, and for the first time two over-aged players are allowed in the squad. The teams will set out with the hope of making it all the way from the qualifiers, to their national final and on to the World Final in July 2017, at the Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr in Praia Grande, Brazil. Sign your team up now – and who knows, you could soon be playing on Neymar Jr’s home turf. Dare to dream, and outplay them all!