Maxwell kicks off the Academy Cup Brazil 2018
After a wonderful opening ceremony on Tuesday at the Rio Centro in Rio de Janeiro, with the participation of over 2,500 young boys and girls, the coaches and family and friends, the Paris Saint-Germain Academy Cup Brasil 2018 got underway on Wednesday.
Paris Saint-Germain legend and former Brazil international Maxwell blew the first whistle on Wednesday as the U7s got the ball rolling. They were followed by the U8, 10s and 12s, all closely watched by Paris Saint-Germain Academy technical director Pierre-Yves Bodineau, who declared: "The attitude of the players and coaches has been excellent throughout this first day of competition. All the teams are well organised and try and play attractive football."
While the families and friends made the most of the event with various associated activities, the players were focused on their matches and worked with their coaches on warm up pitches.
From 13:30 the U9, U11 and U13 entered the competition and by the end of the day, all 740 players had all played at least one match at the Rio Sports Center, with the final whistle blowing at 19:00.
The group stage continues on Thursday at Barra da Tijuca, in Rio de Janeiro. The finals will take place on Friday in the legendary Maracanã, that hosted the World Cup finals in 1950 and 2014 as wel as the final of the 2016 Olympic Games where Neymar Jr and Marquinhos won gold.
On Wednesday, the young players also got the chance to visit one of the best-known tourist sites in the world: Corcovado.
For some, like nine-year-old Miguel it was the first time, in Rio: "I am so excited to be playing in the PSG Academy Cup. I love Rio and I was desperate to visit Corcovado."