UEFA Youth League final delighted football fans in our region

UEFA Youth League final delighted football fans in our region

Special community activity for finalists Olympiacos and AC Milan


The UEFA Youth League has now been developing talent for over a decade, but it is also helping to ensure players become well-rounded individuals thanks to dedicated educational and social initiatives.

The UEFA Foundation for Children feels it is very important to take part in this event to create awareness of our mission within UEFA in the region, by involving younger and older football fans from the local community. We are present in the Youth Plaza running a booth with fun activities and the possibility to take part in an educational quiz about football but also on the Convention of the Rights of the Child.

One of the highlights of this tournament is the opportunity for social interaction between the finalist players and youngsters who are facing difficulties in their daily lives. This meet and greet serves a dual purpose: for the players who are embarking on their professional careers, it is a way to realise how lucky they are and their responsibility as future role models for young people. For our young participants, it is an opportunity to share special moments that provide them with the energy to persevere and build a better life for themselves.

Thanks to our partnership with Rêves Suisse, we had the opportunity to welcome children from two local hostels to the UEFA campus. These hostels are a haven for children aged between 6 and 18 years old who cannot remain in their family environment due to concerns about their upbringing and safety. These facilities are structured to cater to each child's unique needs.

Our young guests had a chance to warm up before meeting some players from finalists Milan and Olympiacos. They trained and played a short friendly match together. Later, they were taken on a tour of UEFA headquarters, visited the VAR room, and had lunch in the UEFA restaurant with all the players.

Anna (alias), said, "I hadn't played football until today, but I had a lot of fun. I liked meeting the players the most – they were very kind to me."

Dennis (alias), added, "I was excited to meet the Milan players. We were able to kick a ball around for a long time. That was a magic moment for me."

This edition not only allowed us to fulfil our objectives, but also to make a dream come true for Yohan, a quadriplegic diehard Nantes FC fan who travelled 850km with his mother to come and support his club’s youth team. On his arrival, we surprised him with a meet and greet with the tournament’s ambassador, Christian Karembeu, who started his football career at Nantes.

The foundation invited 30 dreamers of Rêves Suisse to attend the semi-finals and the final of the UEFA Youth League 2024, at which Olympicos ultimately raised the trophy.