FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP participants share their experiences

"FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP is a really great initiative for us children. Often, people underestimate our category’s ability to put on a show and play good football but we train very hard and try to be better players and best represent our country. I’m very proud to have been chosen and I can’t wait to play against the best categories my age and hopefully bring the cup to Algeria”.

Lotfi Madjer, 14 years old, Algiers, Algeria

Algeria, 2016

"Represent Boca in such an important tournament is an honor for any football player. It will be an extraordinary experience to know new friends from all over the world”.

Alexis Gonzalez, 14 years old, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Argentina, 2016

"I am happy that I have a chance to meet my peers and to compete with them on a football field. When I grow up, I will meet them during games of a national team, and we will recall together the FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP tournament”.

Martirosyan Ruben, 14 years old, Yerevan, Armenia

Armenia, 2016

The FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP project is a unique opportunity to meet legendary people. I’m very excited to know that the world-famous football star Franz Beckenbauer, as a global project ambassador, is going to be with us during the Forum. And we will have a chance not only to see him, but also to speak with him!”

Andrey Potapenko, 14 years old, Borisov, Belarus
Lisbon, May 23, 2014

"Fluminense FC has one of the most advanced methods worldwide to train the athletes: we work the holistic development of our kids because we believe a better person will be a better player. F4F values are aligned with Fluminense FC and it will be an honor to represent Brazil in this tournament so important for football and for children around the world”.

Thiago Macedo, Fluminense FC coach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brazil, 2016

It was a very fruitful trip for the children: they met peers from different cultures and saw firsthand that football is primarily a game, in which it is not necessary to win every time. It is much more important to always respect the person you meet on the field”.

Elin Topuzakov, coach, Sofia, Bulgaria
Lisbon, May 24, 2014

I’ve been playing football for 10 years. I am a defender, specifically a centre-back, and my dream is to play football professionally as a member of the Greek national team and to win the UEFA Champions League. I am so happy to be here.I think, the most important thing is to gain friends. For me football means friendship, brotherhood and health”.

Antonis Oikonomopoulos, 15 years old, Athens, Greece
London, May 25, 2013

I feel wonderful because now I know that knowledge and hard work are rewarded. This particular success has raised my confidence in writing and speaking English. I am over the moon as I get to participate in promoting sports. I expect to meet peers from across Europe, make new friends and keep in touch with them even after the trip”.

Ana Zebec, 14 years old, Cepin, Croatia
Lisbon, May 23, 2014

This weekend was unforgettable. We did great things in a great city with great people. We were in a fabulous town, I met astounding people who became my friends, we saw a spectacular game and I really loved my reporter job because it was very interesting. I hope to have more experiences like this one in the future.”

Valentin Pays, 13 years old, Taverny, France
Lisbon, May 24, 2014

In my own country we have great football traditions. When I grow up I want to play for my country on the international level. And now I’m proud to present Germany at this international 
FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP event, which unites kids from so many countries

Robin Flake, 13 years old, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Lisbon, May 24, 2014

“It was nice to meet children from different countries and get to know my own teammates better We will never ever forget these days and I hope that next year we can play football with other participants of the FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP project!”

Marcell Kovács, 12 years old, Budapest, Hungary
London, May 25, 2013

Football is very popular in my country. Many Italian clubs and players are very successful. I think what makes it possible is devotion of millions of people to this game. I am happy that this year we are participating in the FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP project and have an opportunity to meet children from other countries, who like football like we do!

Davide Paglia, 14 years old, Rome, Italy
Lisbon, May 24, 2014 

«I am very grateful to Gazprom company for the opportunity to engage our club in the Children’s Social FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP programme and introduce children to the core values of the program as equality, friendship, fairness, peace, etc».

Oleg Kholkovskiy, a coach of the "Dordoi" FC junior team, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan, 2016

I think sportsmanship and respect for other cultures and nationalities are very important. It does not matter to me if someone has a different colour or religion. I was chosen for the 
FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP project because of my social character. I like to help other people

Tessa Grashuis, 13 years old,Alkmaar, the Netherlands
Lisbon, May 24, 2014

We are happy that our team was able to take part in the Gazprom’s International Social FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP project. This is a great opportunity for our kids to meet peers from other countries and share their experiences”.

Adam Kucharczyk, coach, Warszawa, Poland
Lisbon, May 24, 2014

“It is great that during the FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP Forum we not only socialise with our peers from other countries but also have an opportunity to participate in a real tournament. I am excited to meet the teams from 16 countries on the street soccer field!”

Filipe Soares, 13 years old,Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon, May 24, 2014

The FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP Forum gives an opportunity to see the world, visit UEFA Champions League Final and eventually enjoy the big game played by professionals. That is so exciting! And the project in general helps children from different cities and countries become friends. FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP actually changed my life. I made up my mind: for me football is more than just a hobby, now it is my main focus”.

Stanislav Kutliyarov, 14 years old, Yekaterinburg, Russia
Lisbon, May 24, 2014

Most of the FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP Forum participants professionally play football. We all dream of successful careers and understand that one of the most important things for us is good health!”

Marko Jankovic, 13 years old, Belgrade, Serbia
Lisbon, May 24, 2014

“I am happy to participate in the FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP project, which declares important values such as peace. We are young but we understand that there are things in our life that influence everything and everyone. And we are looking forward to meeting our peers from other countries who think the same way!

Rok Freser, 13 years old,Maribor, Slovenia
Lisbon, May 23, 2014

"Syria has always been a nation that loved life, peace and football. And this would be our great opportunity to deliver our peaceful message with football to all other participants in such a global event. We hope we could be able to reflect a good picture of our culture of tolerance and coexistence, a thing that would have never to happen without the invitation of F4F programme to which we are unlimitedly grateful.”

Kouteiba al-Refai, press attaché of al-Wahdah Sport Club, Damaskus, Syria

Syria, 2016

I was proud to see my son caring the Turkish flag in his Galatasaray shirt. We thank you and those who contributed to the experience for my son, myself and my family. The first thing Oben said was: "It was spectacular, dad". We thank Gazprom, Galatasaray Football Academy and youth team coaches for the amazing experience we had”.

Deha Saraçoğlu, father of Oben Saraçoğlu (participant), Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, June 12, 2014

We are very glad to be a part of the FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP project, to meet a lot of peers from many European countries and make a lot of new friends, who love football like we do and have a lot in common with us!”

Eugeny Arkhipov, 13 years old,Kiev, Ukraine
Lisbon, May 24, 2014

When playing football, we know that victory is a result of joint efforts. All the players must do their best on the field but at the same time they should play with and for their team. This is the only way you can win. FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP promotes this way of thinking, and that is why we are here”.

Louie Annesley, 14 years old, London, UK
Lisbon, May 24, 2014

“I'm so thrilled being a part of such large-scale programme. This is also our honor to represent Vietnam joining other young football teams worldwide. I and my team members are practicing very hard to prepare for the coming games, wishing to bring Vietnam young football closer to world football. We are all looking forward to a near future, when everyone knows more about Vietnam football and there will be more opportunities for us to play in friendly matches with international teams like this.”

Nguyen Nhat Minh, 13 years old, Pleiku, Vietnam

Vietnam, 2016





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