Stuttgart. The 30th Mercedes‑Benz JuniorCup will take place on 4 and 5 January 2020. A wealth of football talent from top European teams will compete against each other in this well-known U19 indoor football tournament in the Glass Palace in Sindelfingen. Moreover, a further former JuniorCup participant who is now a successful professional will be admitted to the Hall of Fame. As in 2019, the patron of the event will be Thomas Hitzlsperger, Chairman of VfB Stuttgart 1893 AG.
In advance of the upcoming tournament, a press conference was held in the Sindelfingen plant's Future Workshop for Vehicle Technology on 4 December, where Mercedes-Benz AG apprentices begin their professional careers. The focus of the discussions was on differing points of view concerning the promotion of young talent. As well as talented footballers, this also covered referees and trainees. Also taking part in the discussion were Berti Vogts (former German national coach and 1974 World Cup winner), Knut Kircher (for many years a German league referee and Head of Bodyshell/Passive Safety Development at Mercedes-AMG GmbH), Michael Bauer (Head of Production and Location Management at the Sindelfingen plant) and Nico Willig (head coach of the U19 at VfB Stuttgart).
Mercedes-Benz has long been active as a promoter of young football talent. For the 2020 event, the Allianz company has also committed itself as a partner and insurer of the Mercedes-Benz JuniorCup for the first time. Both brands have their roots in the Stuttgart region, and both already sponsor VfB Stuttgart. The history of the Mercedes‑Benz JuniorCup is marked by the participation of a wealth of football talent who collectively can boast more than 3000 international matches as professionals, winning World Cup titles, Champions League victories and championships. "For young players, the JuniorCup is a wonderful opportunity to present oneself on the international stage," says Berti Vogts. "The past has shown that the JuniorCup is an important staging point for the development of future stars and top players."
"The JuniorCup stands for teamwork, integration and fair play," says Knut Kircher. "The small playing field and playing across the sidelines also require fast adaptation to new circumstances. These characteristics are of importance in sport and for the Daimler group. As the tournament for trainees from all over Germany is being held in parallel, the JuniorCup will unite both worlds."
The ballot to decide the groups for the anniversary event already promises a number of exciting combinations and high-class duels. In Group A, Eintracht Frankfurt, Glasgow Rangers, RB Leipzig and the 2019 finalist SK Rapid Wien will compete for victory. Group B consists of the record-beating JuniorCup winner VfB Stuttgart, FC Porto, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Manchester United. All the group games will take place on 4 January, and the final and placings will be held on 5 January. Each match has two nine-minute halves with a two-minute half-time break.
As part of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz JuniorCup, a further player will enter the Hall of Fame which already has the national team member and former JuniorCup participant Joshua Kimmich, Sami Khedira and Manuel Neuer as members.
The tournament for trainees in the German Mercedes-Benz plants will take place in the Glass Palace, in parallel with the JuniorCup. A total of ten teams will compete for victory in this tournament. Each match also has a duration of nine minutes per half, though the half-time model of the U19 tournament will only apply in the final.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz JuniorCup will be transmitted live on TV by Sport1. Ticket sales have already begun, and entry tickets are available at benz.me/juniorcuptickets. Further information relating to the JuniorCup is available at mercedes-benz.com/de/sport/fussball/.