Mamelodi Sundowns youth team to compete in 2023 KDB Cup

The Mamelodi Sundowns youth team to compete in 2023 KDB Cup. Photo: Supplied.

Mamelodi Sundowns join Europe’s elite in 2023 Kevin De Bruyne Cup

Roc Nation Sports International has announced that Mamelodi Sundowns’ U15 side will participate in this year’s Kevin De Bruyne Cup.

Mamelodi Sundowns youth team to compete in 2023 KDB Cup

The Mamelodi Sundowns youth team to compete in 2023 KDB Cup. Photo: Supplied.

Roc Nation Sports International has announced that Mamelodi Sundowns’ U15 side will participate in this year’s Kevin De Bruyne Cup.

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. It is now widely-regarded as the most prestigious youth tournament in Europe, with the sixth edition of the immensely popular two-day event set to take place on 10-11 June 2023 in Belgium.

This year will be the first time the tournament has gone global, with representation from across three continents, including South America, Europe and Africa.

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It has been officially confirmed that Mamelodi Sundowns’ youth team will take part in the KDB Cup for the first time this year, joining U15 counterparts such as Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

This historic move was facilitated by Roc Nation Sports International, the world-renowned sports
agency that represents De Bruyne.

The inclusion of Mamelodi Sundowns U15 is a major accomplishment for a club that is known as an ambitious, inspiring, and dynamic organisation that aspires to be the biggest African football team in the world.

Based in Pretoria, South Africa, the club has a long and decorated history on the competitive football scene, with a strong youth structure feeding into a senior side that has established itself as the most successful football club in South Africa’s Premier Soccer League.

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Mamelodi Sundowns Chairman Tlhopie Motsepe said an overwhelming sense of excitement and emotion coursed through the club 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.”

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De Bruyne, who has previously played alongside African stars such as Kelechi Iheanacho, Yaya Toure and Wilfried Bony at Manchester City, welcomed the addition of Mamelodi Sundowns to a star-studded roster of participants for the 2023 KDB Cup.

“It’s a proud moment for me to welcome Mamelodi Sundowns as the first African team to participate in the tournament. We are well aware of the success and values Mamelodi Sundowns stands for as a club, and I have no doubt their youth team will be a wonderful addition to the team roster. I’m so excited to meet the Sundowns team, and can’t wait to see our South African friends in June. Best of luck!”

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The U15 international tournament serves as the perfect showcase event for talented youngsters from around the globe, with the likes of Ilaix Moriba (RB Leipzig & Guinea), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich & Germany), Romeo Lavia (Southampton & Belgium), Ansu Fati (Barcelona & Spain), Eric Garcia (Barcelona & Spain) and Noni Madueke (PSV & England U21) having previously featured in the competition.

Understandably, the KDB Cup receives applications from clubs across the world seeking to take part in the only youth tournament that both Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid play in. As it is, last year’s tournament was won by Barcelona after an entertaining battle against Real in the final, with the 2022 edition drawing a new weekend record attendance of over 12,000 supporters.

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In 2023, tournament organisers will once again form a dynamic partnership with Veo Camera, who last year created a live stream that enabled the KDB Cup to be accessed globally for the first time. The final was ultimately streamed in 104 countries in yet another indication of the global appeal of this ever-expanding festival of youth football.

Michael Yormark, president of Roc Nation Sports International, said there was every reason to believe the 2023 KDB Cup will be the “biggest and best” tournament to date, particularly considering Mamelodi Sundowns will be adding to the global appeal of the event.

“Ever since its inception, the KDB Cup has gone from strength to strength, and grown immensely in terms of popularity. I have no doubt that the addition of the Sundowns youth team will serve as another unique and exciting drawcard for the tournament. Roc Nation Sports International is incredibly proud to have facilitated the introduction of our friends from South Africa as the KDB Cup truly goes global in 2023.”

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Sundowns among 2023 Kevin de Bruyne Cup participants:

  • Mamelodi Sundowns
  • FC Barcelona
  • PSG
  • Bayern Munich
  • Manchester City
  • Odense Boldklub
  • KAA Gent
  • Club Brugge
  • RB Leipzig
  • Palmeiras
  • Real Madrid
Michael Yormark talks to the Sundowns youth team ahead of KDB Cup
Roc Nation president Michael Yormark talks to the Sundowns youth team. Photo: Supplied.