Senegal’s renowned academy Generation Foot, which has built a remarkable reputation for producing football stars, will participate in the Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup 2023, which will be played on 17 and 18 May.
The West African Academy will face France’s Olympique de Marseille, FC Zürich and FC Basel 1893 in Group A.
This is the second time an African team will be taking part in the competition, after TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2012.
In the first round of the competition, teams will be divided into two groups of four teams in the men’s and women’s sections, with the top two teams in each section advancing to the last four.
The two winners of the semi-finals will then play in the final, while the losing teams will playoff for third place.
The teams finish third in the groups play each other, while the teams finishing last in each group also play each other.
Generation Foot Academy has over the years produced football stars such as Sadio Mane, Pape Matar Sarr, Ismaila Sarr, Diafra Sakho, Papiss Cisse, Babacar Gueye and many others.
Founded in 1898, FC Blue Stars is the oldest club in Zurich and one of the first in Switzerland to have its own training system.
To foster the development of its youngsters, the club organised a tournament in 1939 that became famous for giving some future stars their first international experience.
Bobby Charlton, Helmut Haller, Xherdan Shaqiri and Pep Guardiola all played in the tournament in the decades that followed.
FIFA took over the “Blue Stars Tournament” in 1991, before renaming it the “Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup” in 1995.
Switzerland’s FC Basel will take part in the 83rd edition of the tournament as holders of the men’s trophy, while Zurich’s FC Zurich will attempt to defend the women’s title.
Manchester United, who have been represented in the tournament by the likes of Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Gary and Phil Neville over the years, have won the trophy a record 18 times. FC Blue Stars are second on the all-time list with seven titles won.
Men’s Group A
Olympique de Marseille, FC Zürich, Academie Generation Foot, FC Basel 1893
Men’s Group B
Liverpool FC, Grasshopper Club Zürich, Corinthians Sao Paulo, FC Blue Stars Zürich
Women’s Group A
Arsenal WFC, FC Basel 1893, FC Rosengård, FC Zürich Frauen
Women’s Group B
Juventus Women, BSC YB-Frauen, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Grasshopper Club Zürich