The side from regional Victoria are headed to Brazil!
The Neymar Jr’s Five amateur football tournament event series came to a head at the National Final in Melbourne on Saturday after more than 25 regional and city qualifiers across the nation.
Sixteen teams from across Australia battled it out in perfect weather, and at the conclusion of a series of round-robin matches and an intense knockout stage, ballers FC ultimately prevailed against Tiki Taka Tentaculata in the final.
The winning Australian team will now go to Brazil on July 7 to compete in the World Final against 52 other winning country teams.
Ballers FC had an incredible run to the National final, making the three-hour journey from Shepparton to Knox just to play in the regional qualifier, which they then won.
The boys then just missed out on automatic qualification for the National Final, however were granted the single wildcard spot by tournament organisers, and have now gone on to be crowned national champions.
The makeup of the team included captain Sean Grant (27), Hayden Dealy (19), Toby Ferguson (20), Ramah Taxa (21), Frank Afa (19) and Kouat Manon (20), with the boys representing a mix of backgrounds including Australian, Scottish, Samoan and Sudanese.
They were also supported by more than 20 family members and friends who had made the journey down for the event.
As expected, the team was over the moon with how the day turned out, and is looking forward to representing their country in Brazil.
“We cannot wait to head over to Brazil and do our country proud,” captain Grant said.
“It is going to be an amazing experience and we’d like to thank Red Bull for the opportunity to compete in such an awesome tournament.
“We would like to also thank all of our supporters for their energy and encouragement throughout the whole day, they gave us the extra motivation we needed to overcome some incredibly tough opposition today.”
Neymar Jr’s Five is a 5-a-side football tournament that provides a unique challenge to players the world over, as every time one team scores, the opposition loses a player.
The tournament encourages 16 to 25 year olds to take part and show their skills on a regional, national and global level.
It is inspired by the street football Neymar Jr himself grew up playing and has become a global event series that brings together avid football players of varying skill levels.