Dubai: Du Football Champions, in partnership with La Liga, kicked off the final leg of the nationwide tournament on Saturday, with over 150 teams registered to play from across Dubai tournament.

“It’s great to see over 1,000 youth from across Dubai come out to play football, the game they love, and chase their dreams for football careers,” said Abdulwahed Juma, the EVP of Brand and Communications at Du. “Du is delighted to witness the continued growth of the youth football community through the Du Football Champions tournament and Du Talent online community. We are committed to continue to develop their skill and growing the sport among young people across the nation,” said

Dubai English Speaking College (DESC), who have participated in the UAE Schools Cup since 2015, have come in with all guns blazing — registering teams in Under-12, U14 and U16. “We are in it to win it this year,” said Paul Barrat, DESC Head Coach. Having reached the UAE Finals Day in previous years, but losing out to other teams, including British rival school, Abu Dhabi’s British School Al Khubairat (BSAK), DESC is determined to make du Football Champions history this year. Boys U12 and U14 cleared their respective groups winning all their matches and conceding no goals between them. In U12, DESC were followed closely by La Liga Sevilla.

Other teams to keep an eye on going forward are El Classico from Group A (UAE Streets Cup 2015 Champions), who are now serious contenders for the U18 category. Al Baloushi U18s won Group C and may join their U16s in the UAE semi-finals if they continue their winning streak through the knockout stage. Streets U14s Al Rigga and Streets U16s Sharjah Scout Academy are both looking strong having qualified for the Dubai knockout stage.

“We witnessed another exciting Dubai leg of du Football Champions. It was a long day for our young players, with a three game/day format during the group stages, but football is not just about moments of talent and glory. It’s about leadership, teamwork, commitment, strength and stamina,” said Fernando Sanz, general director, La Liga MENA.

“We are excited to uncover talent in Dubai to join the du LaLiga High Performance Centre. Our team of scouts will be on the lookout not only for players who have talent and ability, but also who have the stamina to last and play at their best over several games,” he continued. “And we have already seen some spectacular players coming out of Dubai over the last few seasons.