Carnival is also, and mostly, Carnival Cup. That’s the name with which the citizens of Viareggio have called the world youth soccer tournament that every year brings the best young Italian and foreign talents to the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea, and among these talents you can find some future champions. In 2018 the Viareggio Cup will celebrate its 70th birthday, but not everyone knows that the Viareggio tournament was born in the aftermath of the Second World War; in a city that wanted to leave behind a long parenthesis marked by brutality and devastation, the Tuscan mood has vented its desire for rebirth in the game of football. In fact, already in 1946, the carnival wagons returned to parade along the seafront promenade and even sport, especially football, found joy thanks to the birth of numerous local teams, which gave life to the first Tournament of Viareggio.
However, the first real international edition took place in 1949: the tournament had the participation of ten teams, two of which were French: Nice and Rapid Menton. Over the years, the circuit of the participating teams has increasingly expanded and the number of foreign teams has also grown considerably: from River Plate to Ajax and Real Madrid, there are many prestigious teams that participated. The 2018 edition will host thirty teams: eighteen are italian (they are the best youth teams in Italy) and twelve are foreign, coming from every continent all over the the world. The football-based kermesse that will take place from 12 to 28 March, will have, as every year, the attendance of thousands of spectators coming from every part of Italy, but also from the rest of the planet: for this reason the event, nowadays, is very prestigious and is considered one of the most important youth soccer tournaments in the international scene.
Up to now, the Viareggio Tournament has given birth to so many champions on the best football stages that it’s impossible to mention them all: from Mazzola, Facchetti, Scirea, Zoff and Rossi before the 80s, passing through Buffon, Pirlo, Totti, del Piero, Baggio and Batistuta in the 90s, and arriving to current champions such as Lahm, Cavani, Icardi and Papu Gomez. The best scorer in the history of the Viareggio Cup is also the current Serie A top scorer, which means Ciro Immobile.
What will be the future stars of football that the Tournament of Viareggio will showcase this year?