The Glaspalast in Sindelfingen is the venue for the 25th Mercedes-Benz Junior Cup.

The 25th Mercedes-Benz JuniorCup.

This milestone tournament will take place on 3 and 4 January 2015 in the Glaspalast indoor arena at Sindelfingen, Germany. Participants in previous years have included World Cup Champions Manuel Neuer, Benedikt Höwedes, Mesut Özil, Christoph Kramer and Sami Khedira.

Boris Vukcevic battling for control of the ball in the Mercedes-Benz JuniorCup.

Group allocation will be the responsibility of Boris Vukcevic.

The team draw for the 25th Mercedes-Benz JuniorCup was already a very special occasion: The four groups for the two tournaments – consisting of two apprentice teams and two professionals teams – were drawn by Boris Vukcevic. In 2008, Vukcevic himself had donned the strip of the VfB Stuttgart team alongside Sebastian Rudy and Julian Schieber to play at the Sindelfingen Glaspalast. Following his early years playing for the VfB Stuttgart youth team, Boris Vukcevic turned professional to join TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (78 appearances in the German national league), while at the same time playing successfully for the German U21 team. “I was delighted to be the one asked to undertake the draw,” said Vukcevic, “this was a very special tournament for me and, I’m certain, also for all the other players.”

A good place in the draw does not guarantee victory.

Four international teams (Manchester United, Grasshopper Club Zürich, Fenerbahçe Istanbul and Celtic Glasgow) will meet the up-and-coming players from four German national league teams (VfB Stuttgart, defending champions Schalke 04, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and Borussia Mönchengladbach). There has only been one foreign winning team in the last 14 years – Dinamo Zagreb, under trainer Zvonimir Soldo, won the tournament in 2008. The winner in the last two years was the team from Schalke 04. As this is the first time that TSG 1899 Hoffenheim is taking part, the draw held particular significance for Boris Vukcevic.

The teams for the groups were drawn by Boris Vukcevic.

“Maybe both my teams will end up in the same group.” But it was not to be. The reigning German U19 champions Hoffenheim will be playing in Group A with Borussia Mönchengladbach, Celtic Glasgow and Fenerbahçe Istanbul. VfB Stuttgart will be up against Manchester United, Grasshopper Club Zürich and Schalke 04 in Group B.

Before the start of the tournament, the teams work to build up their team spirit.

When juniors become World Cup Champions.

The tournament’s excellent reputation was underlined this year by the presence of five one-time JuniorCup participants in the winning German World Cup team: Manuel Neuer, Benedikt Höwedes, Mesut Özil, Christoph Kramer and Sami Khedira.

This year too, at least 50 members of national youth teams will be playing in the Glaspalast. Owing to the high level of demand, all seats for the 25th anniversary tournament will be numbered.

Enthusiastic crowds are expected for the forthcoming JuniorCup tournament.

Broadcast live all over the world.

For the third time, the tournament this year will be shown live on Sport1 and can be followed all over the world via Livestream. Advance ticket sales have already begun. The teams will be arriving on 2 January. Play will be on 3 January from 12 noon until 6.30 p.m. and on 4 January from 12 noon until 5.20 p.m. The starting whistle will sound for the final game on 4 January at 5 p.m. The trainees’ tournament will begin on 3 January at 8 a.m. and on 4 January at 8.45 a.m. The final of the trainees’ tournament will be held on 4 January at 3.50 p.m.

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