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Wolfsburg / Salzburg, 03 June 2008 – Pure, unadulterated tension right to the very last moment in the final of the Volkswagen Junior European Masters last weekend in Salzburg-Anif: the team from Turkey (Fenerbahce Istanbul) just clinched victory in the match against the HIB Graz-Liebenau team from host country Austria in the penalty shoot-out. The team from Greece (EPS Kavalas) won third place.
One of Europe’s biggest youth football tournaments came to an exciting finish in the soccer stadium at Salzburg-Anif. Some 3,000 spectators watched the young footballers from the 10 participating countries of Germany, Greece, Italy, the Canary Islands, Netherlands, Austria, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey battle it out against the impressive backdrop of the Salzburg Limestone Alps. Their football talent, their sporting spirit and the passion they brought to the final did justice to this “youth European football championship.”
The tournament organized by Volkswagen has been held in Germany since 1999 and is now becoming increasingly popular in other markets, and in particular among the worldwide VW sales organization. This year’s tournament was played out by 730 youth teams from all over Europe and over 9,000 players from 10 countries, the best attendance yet. “The sharp rise in the number of participating teams demonstrates the enormous attraction of this Volkswagen initiative. The Volkswagen Group has been active in youth football in Germany and many other European countries for quite some time. I am sure these youngsters will associate their wonderful experiences during the tournament with the Volkswagen brand,” Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, said after the victory ceremony in Salzburg on Saturday. The VW Chairman watched the final in the company of the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, and his wife Ursula Piëch, patroness of the tournament.
The time and place for this Junior European Masters final had not been left to chance. A Junior World Masters tournament was held during the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany and there is to be another international Junior Masters tournament during the World Cup in South Africa in 2010.
The team from VfL Wolfsburg won itself a ticket to the final of the Junior European Masters in Salzburg over the last few months as the best German team. The team therefore ranks among the top ten of the 730 teams from all over Europe which played in the series. This time, though, the players from Wolfsburg could not match the strong competition from Turkey, Austria and Greece. At the end of the tournament, Ursula Piëch, the patroness of the Volkswagen Junior European Masters, presented a check for 10,000 euros to Prof. Dr. med. Gernot H. G. Sinnecker of Klinikum Wolfsburg. The donation will be used to build a play house for kids and teenagers suffering from cancer.