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David García, local project director of Barça Academy República Dominicana; Fabeka Lebrón, founder and representative of Barça Academy in the Dominican Republic; Carles Martín, director of the Barça Academy project; Danilo de la Pava, head of international sponsorship at ScotiaBank; and Xavier Mondelo, director of the Barça Academy America International Project, with the Barça Academy Las Américas Cup tournament shirt.

David García, local project director of Barça Academy República Dominicana; Fabeka Lebrón, founder and representative of Barça Academy in the Dominican Republic; Carles Martín, director of the Barça Academy project; Danilo de la Pava, head of international sponsorship at ScotiaBank; and Xavier Mondelo, director of the Barça Academy America International Project, with the Barça Academy Las Américas Cup tournament shirt. | Nelson Pulido / Barça Academy República Dominicana

Los Establos polo grounds at Cap Cana (Dominican Republic) will be for the third year in a row the ideal venue for a new edition of the Barça Academy Las Américas Cup, the competition for FC Barcelona soccer schools all over the Americas. It’s being held from December 14 to 16 and Barça Legend Juliano Belletti will be attending as its patron. In accordance with tradition, three teams from the Barça Escola in Barcelona are also flying out to compete.

The biggest tournament yet features 600 players aged 6 to 18, and is being played for the first time in three categories: Initiation, Cadet (U16) and Juvenil (U18), meaning a total of 54 teams; 44 playing 7-a-side and ten playing 11-a-side. For the first time, our regional partner ScotiaBank will be sponsoring the event.

Eight different countries are being represented, with teams arriving from Canada, the United States (San Diego, Chicago, Columbus, Barça Academy PRO New York and Barça Academy Camps West Coast), Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico (Puebla), Colombia (Bogota, Cali, and Medellin), Dominican Republic and Barcelona.

The categories are as follows: playing 7-a-side we have Initiation (born 2012-2011), with 5 teams; Formation (2010-2009), with 9; Pre-competition (2008-2007), with 17 teams; Competition (2006-2005), with 13; and playing 11-a-side we have Cadet (2004-2003), with 5 teams; and Juvenil (2002-2001-2000), which also has 5 teams, including local sides Punta Cana FC and Cibao FC.

The press conference to present the event, held in Santo Domingo, was attended by Fabeka Lebrón, founder and representative of the Barça Academy in the Dominican Republic, who commented that for the academy “organising this tournament makes us very proud, it is a true festival of cultures. This year we have a record entry of 600 boys and girls, which is great for the Dominican Republic and makes a footballing example of us in the country and region”.

Meanwhile, the director of the Barça Academy project, Carles Martín, said that “this is a very important tournament in the American region … the support and enthusiasm of the organising team has been amazing. And this is the first regional Barça Academy tournament to have its own sponsor, namely Scotiabank, which is also a milestone event in the American region”.

In addition to the competition, the young athletes taking part in the Barça Academy Las Américas Cup will also be able to enjoy different parallel activities at Los Establos, such as a Pro Evolution Soccer 19 contest, the Gatorade Bottle Challenge, Gatorade Soccer Ping Pong and archery, as well as activities organised by Nike and ScotiaBank.

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