It looks like the Gothia Cup will once again be exciting for Filipinos. Dubbed as one of the biggest youth football (soccer) competition, Gothia Cup is also known as the World Youth Cup, where the best players between the age 11 and 19 compete. In 2007, the weeklong event brought 1585 teams (from 65 countries), 295,000 visitors and earned close to $60 million in tourist income for the sponsoring city. Some of the participants in this event eventually end as the biggest professional players in the world's most popular sport. As far as I can recall, the biggest accomplishment of a Philippine team was in the mid 1980's when a boy's team won the championship in an age division.
This year however, it is the Philippine girl's turn to make a difference. The Makati girl's team (in the age 12 division) defeated Swedish team IFK Aspudden (9-2) on Wednesday after beating another Swedish team Utbynas SK (5-0), a day before. This places the Philippine team at the top of their group in the tournament.
The country sent a total of 5 teams this year. The three boys' team and other girl's team that that competed in the 11, 13, 14 and 16 divisions this year were not as lucky.
This year's competition will end on Saturday, July 19, 2008. Good luck, Team Makati!