Youth teams of Dynamo Moscow, Everton, Serbian side OFK and German team Freiburg will take part in unique international tournament VTB Cup named after Lev Yashin on July 15 and 16 at Khimki Stadium.
Everton, famous for its youth academy, which revealed to the world the talent of Wayne Rooney, will bring to Moscow the likes of Jose Baxter and Joao Silva.
Baxter represented England at every age group up to Under-17s and is the youngest player ever to start a game for Everton being just 16 years old; Silva is a Portuguese U-20 international who scored 14 goals in 32 appearances in his first full season in professional football.
Freiburg is fully focused on raising young talent. That decision was taken a couple years ago and is paying off.
Finally, youth OFK team is one of the best in Serbia and represents the country on international level. The likes of Branislav Ivanovich, Aleksandar Kolarov and Marko Baša all took their first steps in football with this club.
The cup, which was first held in 2008, has changed its concept and, according to Dynamo Chairman Vasily Titov, the supporters will have an opportunity to see players who will represent their national teams on World Cup in 2018.
“Russia is preparing for the World Cup 2018. That’s why we decided to make an emphasis on young players who I hope will participate in this great event,” Titov explained the idea of the tournament.
In the meantime, the executive director of Dynamo, Roman Dyakov, refused to rule out another change of the concept in the nearest future.
“If the tournament is successful, we will try to organize such event on the national teams’ level,” revealed Dyakov. “Imagine how popular among fans and scouts will a game between Russian and Brazilian U-21 teams be.”
Famous Dynamo veteran Viktor Tsarev welcomes the new concept of the tournament and the creation of the second national team, saying it will help young players to become professionals.
“The creation of the second national team is very important because the strongest Russian players may show their quality in it. Also it’s a good opportunity for young and promising players to develop their skills and gain international experience,” Tsarev emphasized.
The draw for 15th of July is as follows:
Dynamo Moscow vs. OFK (Serbia)
Freiburg (Germany) vs. Everton (England)
16th of July
The two losing sides from preliminaries play first, followed by the final at Khimki Stadium.