Soccer is a huge sport in Indonesia. Even when traveling through the smallest village on an island you will see young boys playing soccer between goals of bamboo, shouting pretend names to each other such as Zlatan, Ronaldo, Neymar. As the boys grow up, some of them still dream of playing in the big leagues and today was a big day for 22 boys from all over Indonesia. One of them even from a remote island.
They were chosen from the four best teams playing in the soccer cup KompasGramedia Liga here in Jakarta, after two matches this weekend. Based on skill, endurance and attitude, the coaches decided which boys will represent Indonesia in the world’s largest youth soccer tournament: Gothia Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden. Last year the Indonesian team made it as far as to the final, where the Mexican team secured the gold. This year the Indonesian team wants to repeat the succes, and why not aim for first place? These are seriously talented young people!
Final words of encouragement from the coach.
The audience cheering on.
My husband, representing SKF, the company sponsoring the team’s journey to Sweden, congratulates the first goalkeeper selected. The Indonesian custom greeting to show respect is to touch your forehead to the hand of the person you are greeting.
T-shirt, goldmedal, backpack for the trip, and of course an Indonesian flag was presented to each of the selected soccer players.
Confetti all over 🙂
Indonesian TV on the spot.
And here we have the whole team going to Gothia Cup 2014 in Gothenburg, Sweden!
Go Team Indonesia!