Special Champions League Tournament a great success!
On Wednesday 8 February 2023, the second edition of the Special Champions League took place. After the pilot edition in Breda in November 2021, the tournament now took place in beautiful Lisbon. With a pitch that was right next to the Estádio da Luz, Benfica’s stadium. The beautiful venue coupled with the collaboration of EFDN, Fundação Benfica, Special Olympics and Masterfoot were the perfect elements to make the tournament successful.
Twelve different teams filled with boys and girls participated in the tournament, also the vast majority were still children. Present at the tournament were: AFC Ajax, Werder Bremen, Benfica, KAS Eupen, SD Huesca, Levante UD, NEC Nijmegen, Foundation 92, Juventus, Bayer Leverkusen, Everton and the Special Olympics Portugal team.
The event started as early as 7 February at the Estádio da Luz, Benfica’s stadium, where many of the clubs gathered to eat together, play a pub quiz and participate in the paper plane challenge. After the paper plane challenge, it was time to head to the hotel so everyone was fit for the big day!
At 9:00, the first divisional matches were scheduled. Each team played one match after which the groups were announced through a draw.
After this, five more matches were scheduled for all teams with a well-earned break in the Estádio de Luz in between the stands overlooking the pitch while enjoying a delicious lunch.
After lunch, the final matches were played and everyone was honoured during the ceremony. The ceremony was opened by Benfica after which all teams were alternately called on stage for their medals and a joint photo with Benfica’s mascots!
After the ceremony, there was a final gathering at the Museu da Cerveja where we dined together and started the evening with a typical Portuguese dish: Codfish Cake. After dinner, it was then truly over.
On behalf of EFDN, we would like to thank everyone who attended the Special Champions League and thank Fundação Benfica for all their help!