Coventry University became national champions after a thrilling competition in Liverpool and now head to Brazil to represent the UK and take on the best the world has to offer.
After the success of last year’s inaugural female-only competition, it was take two in Liverpool, as the best female 5-a-side teams in the country battled it out for supremacy. In the end it was the underdogs Cov Uni who beat off the competition to be crowned the best women’s side in the country. In doing so, they secured themselves a spot at the World Finals, set to take place in São Paulo from 12- 13 July.
Following in the footsteps of The Eagles last year, the team will now represent the UK at the Global Finals and will also enjoy the unique opportunity of meeting the Brazilian superstar in his own backyard.
In what was a fascinating tournament, it was Cov Uni who claimed a 4-1 victory in an end-to-end final played at Bramley-More Dock on Saturday. After suffering injuries and having to get in players last minute, it was actually the first time many of the team had played together – but you wouldn’t have known, as they showed fantastic team spirit throughout and were thoroughly deserved winners in the end.
Cov Uni captain, Daniella Granato, said: “It’s hard to put it into words really – we are all still in shock. We came in here as the underdogs and I’m just so proud of the girls considering the dropouts we had. We’ve got a really strong side and I don’t see why we can’t win in Brazil. The girls were all saying what an amazing experience it will be to meet Neymar as well, so we just can’t wait now.”
Red Bull Neymar Jr’s Five is a concept that was dreamt up by the Brazilian forward himself. Fast-paced, unique and fun; the format gives sides 10 minutes to eliminate their opponents by scoring, with each goal leading to the opposition losing a player. After 10 minutes, the team with the most amount of players left on the pitch wins. However, if tied after 10 minutes, the tie is settled by a 1v1 knockout.
With qualifiers taking place across 48 countries and 6 continents, Red Bull Neymar Jr’s Five is the biggest 5-a-side football tournament in the world in-terms of locations and participants. For Cov Uni, all roads now lead to Brazil as they will look to go one step further than The Eagles who crashed out in the knockout phases last year. After Brazil’s very own Resenha 013 became the inaugural women’s world champions in 2018, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top at the Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr in Praia Grande, on 13 July this year.
To find out if Cov Uni can do it, you can use #redbullneymarjrsfive to follow all the action in Brazil.