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Friday, January 16, 2009

QPR Finally Officially Announce QPR's Involvement in Italian World Youth Tournament

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[As previously reported - originally back in December; and then more recently, on the QPR Report Blog, QPR Report Messageboard and of course, the original source, QPR Italia]


- Next month, the R's Youth side will head to Italy to take part in the Coppa Carnevale, the most prestigious Under-20's Club tournament in World football.
Based in Viareggio, Italy, and with the biggest sides in Italian football represented by their youngsters, the three-week long tournament will provide the young R's with a unique chance to not only face some of the world's best sides, but also an opportunity to experience the football culture in a different country.
- Many former and current World superstars have participated in the Coppa Carnevale. The likes of Paolo Maldini, Francesco Totti, Gabriel Batistuta and Alessandro Del Piero all lit up the tournament with their talents and have gone on to achieve success, both domestically and on the international stage.
- And the draw for the Viareggio Cup has handed Rangers a dream ticket in their very first tie, with Inter Milan first up for Steve Brown's side.
After the glamour match with the Nerazzuri, further fixtures against another established Italian side Palermo, and Australian side A.P.I.A. Leichhardt Tigers, present two fascinating tests.
- Manager Brown is relishing the chance to lock horns with one of the biggest teams in the world, telling www.qpr.co.uk: "It's a massive match against Inter; it's fixtures like these you want to play in and the boys will relish a huge test first up.
- "We'll be up against a different style to what we are used to, but that is all part of their development as young players."
- Thoughts turn to the other two sides lying in wait for Brown's team: "Inter is huge but take nothing away from Palermo, who are up there amongst the best sides in Serie A. Tottenham Hotspur played Leichardt last season and beat them comfortably but once again it will be an interesting challenge.
- "But that's the draw of this tournament. In every group there is fantastic, quality opposition, from all Leagues in Italian football, and from around the world so we are delighted to have been invited."
- Rangers, however, will not be in Italy to make up the numbers: "Make no mistake; whilst it is a great experience, we are heading there to win football matches. It helps that it's an Under 20s tournament so we can take the likes of Danny Maguire and Romone Rose.
- "We will prepare ourselves as well as possible because we will travel with the intention of doing as well as possible. The sides we will face are used to playing the best Under 20 sides in the country. We're not, but that's where we want to be, and so this represents a massive opportunity for the boys, and will only serve to enhance their development."
- Such is the overwhelming recognition the festival receives from the media, Italian television crews will follow all the action, starting with the R's head-to-head with their Internazionale counterparts.
- English teams have enjoyed limited of success since its creation in 1949. Ipswich Town flew the flag for England, finishing runners-up in successive years in 1981 and 1982, losing out to AS Roma and Fiorentina respectively.
- The Viola are the tournament's most successful side boasting eight wins, and another seven times the Florence side have finished runner-up. They are intriguingly paired this season with the most successful foreign outfit in Dukla Prague of the Czech Republic, who have recorded six tournament wins, twice coming in second.
QPR Fixtures:

Inter Milan - Mon 9th February
Palermo - Wed 11th February
A.P.I.A. Leichhardt Tigers - Fri 13th February

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