Chennai: Global football superstar Neymar Jr took to the field for the first time since his injury at the Copa America as the two strongest five-a-side football teams in the world were crowned at the Red Bull Neymar Jr’s Five World Final in Praia Grande, Brazil.
After gruelling games at the World Finals, Hungary (Mixed) and Slovakia (Women’s) came out on top at the InstitutoProjeto Neymar Jr in the neighbourhood where the Brazilian grew up.
Red Bull Neymar Jr’s Five 2019India Champions, Kalina Rangers from Mumbai represented India at the World Finals in Brazil, and gained valuable experience with a historic win against Hungary, who were eventually crowned winners of the tournament.
Unfortunately, their tournament ended at the group stage following a draw against Luxembourg and heart breaking defeats against Spain and Angola. Team India fought hard at the World Finals and will take invaluable experience of being part of the targets 5-a-side football competition in the world.
Team Kalina Rangers Mumbai, India Player Anthony Machado said, “It is a special feeling to be in Brazil and respresent India. We are also proud that we emerged winners among 3216 teams that participated in National finals. It enabled us to live out the dream of one day playing the beautiful game in Brazil. We are disappointed that we could not go past the group stages,however we are proud that we could win our last game against the eventual champions Hungary. Our dream of meeting Neymar Jr. also came true.”
Hungary won 7 out of their eight matches, including a 2-0 win over Spain in the final, to land the title in the mixed competition. Their only defeat came against Team Kalina Rangers from India. The honour of being the second female world champions went to the Slovakia, who were consistent throughout the tournament and narrowly overcame Japan 2-1 in the final. Both world champion teams will get an exclusive behind the scenes trip to visit Neymar Jr at Paris Saint-Germain.
Neymar Jr. watched the semi-finals and finals before stepping onto the field with his own special team to face the world champions in two matches.It was his first taste of action following an ankle injury which had kept him out for six weeks, but the 27-year-old showed no signs of rust as he tricked and flicked his way around the newly crowned World Champions.