For the fifth time in a row, the AEGON Future Cup will be held at de Toekomst Sports park during Easter weekend. Ajax.nl is featuring the participants in five issues. In the second edition: Benfica and Corinthians.
For a while, Benfica seemed close to reaching the finals last year, until the Portuguese team met Ajax’s B1, and that dream scenario ended. The Amsterdam team defeated them 5-0, after which Benfica won the consolation prize by defeating São Paolo in penalty kicks. Despite the hefty loss to Ajax, the teenagers from Lisbon made a good impression in Amsterdam. They were at least as impressive as the millions of euros that the club has earned through the sale of former youth players. Angel di Maria and Fabio Coentrào both went to Real Madrid for thirty million euro, and David Luis and Ramires were sold to Chelsea for similar amounts.
After Fluminense, Desportivo and FC São Paolo, another Brazilian team makes its appearance at the Aegon Future Cup. This time, it’s Corinthians, where the legendary centre forward Ronaldo played his last days as a footballer. But he’s not the only one to have worn this São Paolo club’s white and black striped jersey: (former) stars such as Rivaldo, Dida, Garrincha and Socrates once played for Corinthians. The 16 and 17 year old players from the club certainly aren’t from that caliber yet, but they undoubtedly have the potential to be. That can already be seen from their victory in the Aegon Mongeral Cup in Brazil – the winner of the tournament earns a qualification for the Future Cup in Amsterdam.