Ulsan Hyundai champion of Shanghai Future Star Cup
South Korea's Ulsan Hyundai was crowned as the champion of the 2023 Shanghai Future Star Cup at the SAIC Motor Pudong Arena, Sunday evening.
Ulsan Hyundai edged Japan's Cerezo Osaka 1-0 in the final, thanks to a sole goal by Park Kanghyun in the last few minutes of the first half. Park was also named the Most Valuable Play of the tournament.
In an earlier afternoon match, Vietnam's PVF Football Academy defeated Portugal's FC Porto through a penalty shoot-out to place third. Host Shanghai team eventually placed 7th in the eight-team tournament.
As a self-developed sports event, the youth tournament serves as a platform for talented young soccer players from around the world to exchange skills and enhance communication.
To better serve the purpose, a coaching panel was organized during the tournament, allowing youth soccer managers and coaches to share experience and insights with their foreign counterparts.
"When we select young players, we evaluate not only their skills, stamina and body condition, but also the player's communication mode and relation with teammates," said Luciano Canepa, head of Aspire Academy's scouting and analysis.
Canepa said physical fitness can be improved by training, while the understanding toward football requires team effort. To place players and coaches onto the pitch and create challenges for them to solve is Aspire Academy's soccer education mode.
Cerezo Osaka team head coach Kim Fangjeong encouraged young players to collect more overseas experience.
"Living abroad maybe difficult, but for potential players, the earlier they go abroad for training the better," said Kim. "A lot of young players face the choice of joining a professional team or not at the age of 16. A good club will help young players set a goal and seek for a balance between football and study."
FC Porto's youth team manager Fredrick Mello said running a club is like running a company, and the key is to manage players' moods.
"We hope the players have passion for football, believe in their own ability but keep a modest attitude," he said. "They should obey rules while bearing great ambition."