Massimiliano Scaglia

Al-Abtal: a great experience

Al-Abtal: a great experience
Al-Abtal: a great experience
Al-Abtal: a great experience

Juventus' participation in the 2024 edition of the Al-Abtal Tournament, now in its fourth year and promoted by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation and the Ministry of Sport, has come to an end.

A valuable experience for the young Bianconeri

This tournament saw the Under-19 players tested against international opposition, facing Monaco, Slavia Prague, Almeria, and Saudi Arabia's Future Falcons. It was a rewarding experience that fits perfectly into the philosophy that Juventus carries forward with its Youth Sector, as Massimiliano Scaglia, Head of Academy, U14s to U19s, outlines in his assessment:

"As a corporate philosophy and Club strategy, we believe that international experiences, even in grassroots activities, are a great opportunity for growth for the boys, both on a personal level and in terms of sporting experience," he says. "These are important moments that strengthen their development and growth. As they grow older, it becomes more complicated to organize initiatives abroad because national calendars become more intense, but we try to find opportunities to give our young people the opportunity to live this kind of experience. Obviously, in the case of the Under-19s, this aligns with the Youth League, which is a very important tournament that UEFA organizes precisely to provide further opportunities for growth to young footballers, making them experience football moments, completing their path and enhancing their qualities."

International experiences at the heart of Juventus' Youth Sector philosophy

The participation in the Al-Abtal Tournament is just one example of Juventus' commitment to providing its young players with international experiences. The Club regularly organizes friendly matches and tournaments abroad, allowing its players to compete against teams from different countries and cultures, enriching their football education and personal growth.

This commitment is part of the broader philosophy of the Juventus Youth Sector, which aims to develop not only talented footballers but also well-rounded individuals, equipped with the necessary skills to face the challenges of the modern football world.

under 19 vs future falcons 7

Juventus' Al-Abtal Experience

A valuable alternative to the Youth League

"This season, due to contingent reasons, we did not have the opportunity to participate in the Youth League. As part of an agreement we have with Future Falcons, which is a brilliant and valuable project being carried out in Saudi Arabia and with which we collaborate, we were offered to participate in the Al-Abtal Tournament, which, given the quality of the participating teams, we can compare to the Youth League.

"Juventus doesn't follow trends, it tries to set them: abroad, the teams that participate in international tournaments are getting younger and younger, unlike what is happening in Italy. Therefore, as a corporate choice, we decided to field an Under-18 team, giving younger players the opportunity to experience international growth, who might have had fewer opportunities to do so, both in terms of play and experience: beyond the results on the field, the balance for us is very positive. We have played practically all the members of our squad, who have had the opportunity to experience an international trip, all-round, and this is also an added value: these are boys who need constant motivation, and these changes of perspective create great stimuli, as well as playing international matches. You breathe a different air, you get to know another type of football, you visit new facilities, you play open matches in which the desire to do things prevails over the fear of losing, and this is precisely the spirit that we are trying to carry forward with our youth sector: to be courageous, active, to act before reacting."

A well-organized tournament with a positive impact on the players

"This was a tournament organized in an excellent way, we are very satisfied and we hope to take part in it again: from next year there is a discussion about lowering the age of the participating teams, and this would be a good idea for us, because obviously we hope that the Under-19s, as well as the First Team, will return to the Youth League and Champions League. We would be very happy to participate with younger teams, because this has been an engaging and very well-organized experience, which will leave its mark on the boys but also on us adults."

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