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It has begun!

One of Europe’s most prestigious U17 tournaments, the tenth Puskás–Suzuki Cup kicked off today with the opening ceremony. Tomorrow will see the start of arguably the strongest competition in the history of the cup as top teams are going to lock horns.

Youngsters of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Panathinaikos, Sporting Lisbon, Budapest Honvéd and Puskás Academy marching into the hall of the main dorm to the beat of their own anthems signalled the opening of the tenth Puskás–Suzuki Cup, the international tournament for U17 teams.

Having enjoyed the most splendid footballing moments of the legendary No 10 shirt, Ferenc Puskás, László Urbán, vice-managing director of Magyar Suzuki Corporation Ltd. greeted the guests and the players running out to the pitch tomorrow.

‘It was the enthusiasm and love for football that made us and Puskás Academy start the Cup ten years ago, ‘he said. ‘Looking back at the past years I can say that we have completed this mission successfully. We have had world-class teams here, which have been largely successful, and now we can say that the Puskás–Suzuki Cup has become one of Europe’s most prestigious tournaments. This year’s field is extremely strong and colourful and I’m sure we are going to see very exciting matches. We pay tribute to the man the tournament was named after, the immortal Ferenc Puskás whose life and sporting career is exemplary – not only for the participants but for us all. He would be ninety years old now, but his legacy is going to live on eternally. We do believe that the Puskás–Suzuki Cup is an excellent springboard for youngsters – a good start for the future.’

Lőrinc Mészáros, president of Puskás Academy also highlighted the extremely strong competition in this year’s tournament and thanked Magyar Suzuki Corporation Ltd. for having been the dedicated sponsor of the event for ten years. ‘We fervently hope that our under-seventeen team will finally win the cup even though the competition is very strong.’

Looking back at the past ten years he added: ‘The tournament has developed into one of the most outstanding youth competitions in Europe. We have seen real talents from the very start, many of whom have grown into international players. We need these events since they are a great opportunity for youngsters to showcase their talent. I am positive Uncle Öcsi is proud of us in heaven and wishes us a good tournament from above.’

Having relived the most memorable moments of the Puskás–Suzuki Cup in 2016, Tünde Szabó, Minister of State for Sport, Lőrinc Mészáros, László Urbán, managing director Mihály Takács and youth director László Szalai placed their wreaths at the foot of the statue of Ferenc Puskás having a minute of silence in remembrance of the world-class footballer. Friday 2nd June will see the ball rolling for the first time in the match between Budapest Honvéd and Sporting CP. Our U17 team coached by Ivica Kulesevic play their first match against Bayern Munich from 17h in the Pancho Arena. The question is: will they be able to lift the trophy this time?

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