Can you name a football tournament which Brazil has never won, Germany has won four times, Italy – one time, while Russia – 18 times and even Finland has been a winner once? No, it is not some fantastic world, it’s here, in St. Petersburg. The International youth football tournament in memory of the first FIFA Vice-President Valentin Granatkin will be held on January 8 – 21, 2017.
The competition is for national teams under 18. Tournament roster 2017 includes 15 national teams and one representing the city of St. Petersburg split in four groups:
Group A: Tajikistan, Greece, Bulgaria, Estonia
Group B: Latvia, Belarus, Russia, India
Group C: Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Slovakia, Kazakhstan
Group C: Moldova, Slovenia (defending champion), St. Petersburg, Iran
At a group stage all the teams will play with each other. Best two of each group will advance to playoffs to compete for places 1-8, while the worst two will play for 9-16.
The opening ceremony will be held on January 8 at 18.30, and the closing ceremony – on January 21 at 21.00.
The venue: St. Petersburg Sports Concert Center, address: 8, Yuri Gagarin avenue.
Getting there. Park Pobedy (Victory Park) subway station, then walking across the park for 10-15 minutes or taking a mini-bus K-86, K-345, K-216 or K-171. Walk or go until you see this building pictured below.
If you need more detailed instructions on getting to the SCC, please, don’t hesitate to write us.
Tickets: 300 rubles for all matches for a day.
Except for games of Russia and St. Petersburg teams, the venue is not overcrowded throughout the tournament, and you can take any seat you like.
The tournament history dates back to 1981 when the then FIFA President Joao Havelange proposed to organize it to commemorate Valentin Granatkin. Over the course of 35 years, many prominent players took part in the tournament including Andreas Moeller, Oliver Bierhoff, Carsten Jancker and Marcel Desailly.
Many Russian internationals also showed up on the field of SCC including Zenit’s Artem Dzyuba, Krasnodar’s Fyodor Smolov and CSKA’s Alan Dzagoev. Smolov is reported to be in the sphere of interest of Borussia Dortmund and Dzagoev may join Everton. We saw Dzagoev playing at the Granatkin Memorial in January 2009 when he was not even a player of any professional football club, but it was already clear that the guy would become a star. He soon made his first international appearance in Germany VS Russia World Cup 2010 Qualifiers match, that happened just 9 months after his play in St. Petersburg as a “no-name”.
Cover photo: rsport.ru
Photo of the SCC: spb-gid.ru