Back in February it was confirmed that the Mamelodi Sundowns’ Under-15 side will become the first African team to participate in this year’s Kevin De Bruyne Cup.
This week, the draw for the popular tournament in Belgium was conducted, with Sundowns grouped in Group A alongside last year’s winners FC Barcelona as well as Man City from England.
Meanwhile Group B includes Bayern Munich, Palmeiras and Odense. Group C is made up of Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig and Club Brugge, while Group D has Real Madrid, Ajax Amsterdam and Gent.
Global football icon Kevin De Bruyne, who plays for Manchester City and Belgium, has proudly associated his name with the KDB Cup ever since the inaugural edition took place in 2016.
SUNDOWNS AND PALMEIRAS WILL COMPETE AS THE FIRST-EVER NON-EUROPEAN SIDES
It is now widely-regarded as the most prestigious youth tournament in Europe, with the sixth edition set to take place on 10-11 June 2023 in Belgium. On Thursday, De Bruyne also shared a special message with Sundowns as the draw was made.
“For Mamelodi Sundowns, this will be the first time outside of South Africa for these kids. I think it will be a great experience for them not only to play football against other teams but to see another part of the world and to have a life experience,” says De Bruyne.
“They will compete against a mix of global powerhouses and European and Belgian teams. This year’s draw also included Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Odense Boldklub, RB Leipzig, Manchester City, Ajax, PSG, KAA Gent, and Club Brugge.”
Can’t wait for this https://t.co/6z5wIhqMkk— Kevin De Bruyne (@KevinDeBruyne) March 16, 2023
THE AMBITIOUS SOUTH AFRICAN CLUB HAS WELCOMED THIS OPPORTUNITY
Mamelodi Sundowns Chairman Tlhopie Motsepe expressed his excitement earlier this year after the youth team was confirmed as KDB Cup participants for 2023.
“Our club and supporters are very excited for our academy players. As much as we know that this is a wonderful opportunity to expose our youngsters to different styles of football and a different way of life; we also believe that this is an opportunity for our youth team to expose the participating clubs to African football and African friendship. I would like to thank Kevin De Bruyne and our associates at Roc Nation Sports International for making this possible for the Under-15’s.”