Neymar Jr’s Five is the Brazilian forward’s signature football tournament which pits five-a-side teams in head-to-head in 10-minute matches with a twist. Every time one team scores, the opposition loses a player. It’s fast, technical, and tactical.
Last Saturday, March 4, eight teams squared off in SPARTA Philippines in Mandaluyong for the finals of Neymar Jr’s Five:
- El Retiro
- Tondo FC
- Manila Tala
One of biggest surprises of the Finals was the addition of Tondo FC, who stood in following the withdrawal of qualifying team, Baggie FC. Tondo FC proved to be the sentimental favorites for those who attended February 25th’s qualifier B, making their return to the tournament a welcome surprise.
The afternoon saw a series of round robin matches that ended with Naxional taking the victory following an intense match against Tondo FC. True to the nature of Neymar Jr’s Five, the match was fast and intense, leading to a heated one-on-one draw that lasted well over two minutes.
Neymar Jr’s Five Finals:
1st Place – Naxional
2nd Place – Tondo FC
3rd Place – Manila Tala
Also included in Neymar Jr’s Five’s finals were the FutKal Freestyle Football Championship; a freestyle exhibition that took place between matches. Eight participants squared off, showcasing their unique skill in handling a football.
Futkal Freestyle Competition:
1st Place – Dennis Lucito
2nd Place – Dennis Balbin
3rd Place – Ival de Castro
Winning team, Naxional, is comprised of Miguel Artillera, Roberto Orlandez, Ahmed Hwedi, and former ULF Stallion members, Hector Zaghi, Mark Daniel Rivera and Team Captain, Daniel Matsunaga. The team is supported by the Latin American bistro of the same name, which Matsunaga is part-owner of.
“We are very excited!” the team shares. “It proves that us Filipinos can play internationally. It’s a good experience for us. Neymar is a world class player and we want to learn. He is an inspiration for us!”
Naxional will compete at Neymar Jr’s Five global finals in Brazil later this year.