CHENNAI: Are you a football enthusiast who likes to kick your way through the game, the street-way? Want to try your hand at meeting Neymar Jr, the man himself? Here’s your ticket to carve your path to glory! Red Bull Neymar Jr’s 5v5, a unique five-a-side football competition, has been doing its rounds around 12 cities in India, and now its Namma Chennai’s turn to witness the skills of our players.
“The previous edition was conducted all over the country but unfortunately didn’t come to Chennai. This is the first edition here and we have about 150 teams participating,” says Shriram Arvind, marketing head, Red Bull.
The idea is to make the gaming experience as ‘street’ as possible. So the tournaments will be conducted in every possible venue — garage, malls, beach, and what not! “Since we are expecting a lot of teams in Chennai and many have already registered, we are having it at Loyola College to accommodate them all,” he explains.
So, what’s unique about the tournament? ‘The red bull twist’! For each goal scored by a team, a player from the opposite team will have to leave the field. The team with the maximum players in the end wins!
“Two teams of 5 have 10 minutes to try and outdo each other. For every goal scored, the captain of the scoring team will ask a player of the opposition team to leave the field. The team which is left standing in the field at the end of 10 minutes or the one with the most number of players still left in the field of play is the winner,” elucidates Shriram.
Keshsav, captain of the previous year national winners from Bengaluru says, “The twist in the game makes us very competitive. There’s no half time and its 10 minutes of skills and survival. If we feel lazy or distracted even for a second, we lose a player. And, if you have one player less in your team, the chances of coming up are very tough.”
Ainava, a final year student of SRM College, and captain of team Phoenix says, “I am a big fan of Neymar and we went up till the quarter finals qualifiers in Chennai. The game is very challenging and puts your skills to test. We’ll definitely be a part of the tournament, the next year and we are hoping it takes place in Chennai again.”
One team per city will be selected and will battle it out in the National qualifiers. The team which wins in the qualifiers will not only be awarded a trophy, but will also be representing India at the Neymar Jr’s five finals in Brazil, 2017. “What’s more exciting for these budding players is the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Neymar himself and probably even play a game! (The finalist),” adds Shriram.
For details, visit their FB page:Neymar Jr’s 5, Chennai City Qualifiers