Romania have been crowned the best 5-a-side world team as they defeated England in the Neymar Jr’s Five final in Praia Grande, Brazil.
The final stage of the tournament, which is organised by Red Bull and has reached its second edition, saw more than 100,000 players from 53 different countries battling it out to get the chance to challenge a side led by Barcelona star and featuring some of his most talented peers, including Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus. The matches took place at Instituto Projecto Neymar Jr, founded by the former Santos ace to help about 2,500 kids aged from 7 to 14 who grew up in his same neighbourhood, facing the same difficulties.
Players from all over the world showed up, I’m really proud of it,
said Neymar. “When I came and watched Romania playing I realised they had many chances to become champions, which they did.”
The winning outfit will also travel to Barcelona and sit in the Camp Nou stands — a privilege they earned by beating their rivals in 10-minute games characterised by a particular rule: for every goal scored, the opponents lost a man, an attempt to encourage players to take risks and create superiority, just like Neymar does in every match.