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Danone Nations Cup and LaLiga renew their alliance for grassroots football


LaLiga and Danone today ratified the agreement which brings them together to promote youth football in the Under-12 category.



During the same ceremony, which took place today in Madrid, the groups were drawn for the World Final of the tournament, with the presence of Ada Hegerberg and Carles Puyol, the world ambassadors of the Danone Nations Cup (DNC); Fernando Sanz, LaLiga's director of international institutional relations and director of the LaLiga Ambassadors and Legends Project; and David Albelda, the LaLiga Santander ambassador.



More than 700 boys and girls from 27 countries will gather at the RCDE Stadium on 12 October to contest the World Final of the largest Under-12 football tournament.


              Coinciding with Danone's centenary, the DNC World Final will be played in Barcelona for the first time, the city where the company was established in 1919.



Madrid, 17 September 2019 - LaLiga's headquarters in Madrid today hosted the presentation of the renewal of the agreement between Danone and the organisation, with the presence of Fernando Sanz, LaLiga's director of international institutional relations and director of the LaLiga Ambassadors and Legends Project; David Albelda, the LaLiga ambassador; Steve Brangeon, director of the Danone Nations Cup; and Carlos Bosch, head of media and coordinator of the Danone Nations Cup in Spain. The event also provided the setting for the group stage draw of the DNC World Final, the largest Under-12 football tournament in the world, which included the participation of its world ambassadors: Ada Hegerberg and Carles Puyol.   

Danone and LaLiga have been collaborating for years on promoting grassroots football and the values of sport among young people. Fernando Sanz, LaLiga's director of international institutional relations and director of the LaLiga Ambassadors and Legends Project, expressed his satisfaction with the alliance and stressed that "for us it is a pleasure to form part of the Danone Nations Cup in order to strengthen our work on transmitting values in sport in general and football in particular. Respect, tolerance, camaraderie and teamwork are fundamental for young people's development, which is why we are pleased to form part of a competition that identifies with all of them."

Carlos Bosch, the head of media at Danone and coordinator of the Danone Nations Cup in Spain, thanked LaLiga for supporting the competition, underscoring its invaluable importance for the continued growth of the tournament. "At Danone, we're convinced that sport is a powerful tool for looking after young people's health and raising committed and responsible citizens. The support of flagship organisations such as LaLiga helps us to put that vision into practice, allowing more and more boys and girls to benefit from everything that football contributes," explained Bosch.



World Final group stage draw

The 56 teams who will play in the Danone Nations Cup World Final now know who their opponents will be in the group stage. The draw took place following the presentation of the renewal of the agreement between Danone and LaLiga, with the participation of the DNC world ambassadors, Ada Hegerberg and Carles Puyol.

The four Spanish teams who will play in the World Final are set to face top-level opponents. The side who will play the 2018 boys final will face the Netherlands, Romania, Morocco and China in the group stage, while the girls will take on reigning champions Brazil, Germany and Italy. The Spanish representatives who will play in the 2019 final also face tough competition. The girls will need to beat Argentina, England and Uruguay to make it through to the next stage, while the boys will take on Bulgaria, France, Senegal and China. All of the groups are packed with talent and will put Spain's potential to the test.

The DNC 2019 World Final will be played at the RCDE Stadium on 12 October. This is the 20th edition of the "U12 world cup". It forms part of the initiatives aimed at celebrating the centenary of the company Danone, established in Barcelona in 1919, and it will unveil the world champions of the 2018 and 2019 editions. In total, over 700 boys and girls from 27 countries will represent their nations in the grand final of the "U12 world cup". Furthermore, this will be the third year in which the DNC features a girls World Final, demonstrating Danone's commitment to women's football.
Carles Puyol, the male world ambassador for the Danone Nations Cup, assured: "I am proud to be an ambassador for a tournament like the DNC, given everything it represents for the boys and girls taking part. In this tournament, the young stars will not only show off their sporting talent, but also their determination to make the world a better place through football. I'm glad to be part of a project whose objective is to promote values through sport. I'm looking forward to attending the World Final and enjoying the great football that the boys and girls are bound to serve up for us."

Ada Hegerberg, the female world ambassador of the Danone Nations Cup, remarked: "Getting involved in the DNC is a really important challenge for me. I think that together we can show the world how important football can be for boys and girls, because not only are we shaping future football stars through it, but also citizens of the world who are responsible and look after the society around them. In addition, in such an important year for women's football, being an ambassador for a tournament with such a solid commitment to girls' talent is a source of great pride."

David Albelda, the LaLiga Santander ambassador, underlined the importance of tournaments like this for educating future footballers: "To be a good player, not only do you need to play football well; it is essential to demonstrate values and principles both on and off the pitch, and tournaments like the Danone Nations Cup help to achieve that."



Inspiring boys and girls to transform them into agents of change through football

In this very special edition, the DNC has a new logo: "Play football, change the game," which reflects the ambition of transforming all of the boys and girls competing in the tournament into citizens of the world, all the while promoting healthy lifestyles and diets. One of the actions which will be carried out with this objective will be the opportunity the children will be given to vote for the UN Sustainable Development Goal which they think is most important, with this goal set to receive support from the DNC next year.

Since its inception in 2000, the Danone Nations Cup has earned credibility in the eyes of world football, thanks to its efforts to transmit values such as respect, camaraderie, hard work, clean play and good dietary and hydration habits. It will be an unforgettable experience for the boys and girls representing their countries and seeking to take home the trophy. In addition to a day of pure football, the upcoming stars will take part in the Change the Game Challenge, a combination of sporting, creative and multicultural activities which will raise money to provide access to drinking water in schools in India, a cause which the DNC has supported throughout this year.

In the words of Steve Brangeon, the international director of the DNC, "We want this World Final to me much more than a festival of football. We believe that this is the ideal time to strengthen our commitment to society and young footballers. The new slogan perfectly reflects the educational ambitions of the project and we feel very proud to do our small part to help more than two million boys and girls become citizens of the world who are committed and responsible in terms of their own health and that of the planet."

Big tournaments serve up big games, and the DNC World Final will bring us a very special one. It consists of the Legends game, where LaLiga legends such as Fernando Morientes, Albelda and Joan Capdevilla, ambassadors of the Danone Nations Cup, and veterans and friends of RCD Espanyol will play a match to entertain the spectators. For every goal, the Danone Nations Cup will make a donation to the causes which it is supporting this year. In addition to the trophies for the champions, the DNC will give out a Fair Play Award for the team who best promote the core values of the DNC both on and off the pitch.

About LaLiga

LaLiga is a global, innovative and socially responsible organisation which is a leader in the leisure and entertainment sector. It is a private sports association composed of the 20 public limited sports companies (SADs) and clubs of LaLiga Santander and the 22 of LaLiga SmartBank, and is responsible for organising professional football competitions in Spain. In the 2018/19 season, LaLiga reached more than 2.7 billion people globally. With its headquarters in Madrid (Spain), it is present in 55 countries through 9 offices and 46 regional offices. The organisation carries out its social work through its foundation and was the world's first professional football league to establish a league for intellectually challenged footballers: LaLiga Genuine Santander.

DANONE NATIONS CUP – A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE (www.danonenationscup.com)    

The Danone Nations Cup was created in the year 2000 and is considered the world's biggest football tournament for boys and girls aged 10 to 12. Each year, the tournament kicks off in 27 countries where children compete in the local editions of the competition for the opportunity to represent their country in the world finals at an iconic stadium. The Danone Nations Cup has always been much more than a simple football competition, allowing children from around the world to discover new places and cultures and promoting values such as respect, humanism, clean play and openness. Legendary football stars support the DNC, including Carles Puyol and Zinedine Zidane, the latter having supported the competition for over 15 years. The Danone Nations Cup unveiled a new objective in 2019: "Play Football, Change the Game". With these words, the DNC hopes to inspire the generation of tomorrow to go further and become citizens of the world and catalysts for positive social change.

ABOUT DANONE (www.danone.com)

With the mission to bring health through food to as many people as possible, Danone is one of the global leaders in the food and beverages sector and has four main business lines: dairy and plant-based products, early life nutrition, waters and medical nutrition. Through this mission and its commitment to both business and social progress, the company seeks to build a healthier future, through improved health, a better life and a better world for all of its partners: consumers, customers, suppliers, shareholders, its more than 100,000 employees and all of the communities which it interacts with. With products present in over 130 markets, Danone generated sales of €24.7 billion in 2018. The company was established in 1919 by Isaac Carasso in the city of Barcelona, where the first yogurt for general consumption was manufactured. In Spain, Danone employs over 2,000 people, has production facilities in nine Autonomous Communities and supplies 40,000 businesses and over 11 million consumers on a daily basis. Since 2016, the dairy division of Danone Spain has been certified as a B Corp company complying with the highest standards of social and environmental development, transparency and responsibility, and aspiring to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.

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