Pupils from Barcarena in Brazil had to let go of their dream of gold in this year's Norway Cup as they were eliminated in the first round of the finals this week. Nevertheless, they showed great skills on the football field and impressed with excellent goals and cooperation.
Since 2001, Hydro has brought teams from Brazil, Slovakia or Jamaica to the football tournament at Ekeberg. This year, 18 boys, aged 14-17 years, from Brazil got the opportunity to fight for the prestigious trophy in the world’s largest football tournament for youths.
Flying start at Norway Cup
The boys from Brazil were very eager to show off their football skills during Norway Cup; and with impressive ball control, speed and defensive skills, the boys won 9-0 against team Sharp in the first match of the tournament. After finishing second in their group, the first game of the finals ended with a penalty shoot-out and unfortunately a loss for the Brazilian boys.
“We trained hard and aimed for gold. Although the first game went really well, it was important to keep the focus of the rest of the matches. I think we managed that, despite the loss in the end,” says 16 year old Ronaldo Da Silva Amorim, top scorer on their team.
The Alunorte Rain Forest football team consists of both boys from the municipality of Barcarena, in which Hydro owns and operates the world’s largest alumina refinery, Alunorte. Players participate in a local education program sponsored by Hydro, in close cooperation with local schools in the area. Norway Cup is a reward for the youngsters’ efforts both at school and on the football field.
In Barcarena, the bauxite from Paragominas and Trombetas is refined into alumina, a key ingredient in the production of aluminium. Operations at Alunorte started in 1995, and after three expansions, the plant’s annual production capacity has grown to more than six million tons.
Fun also outside football field
The players were both high and low when they spent one of the days at the Tusenfryd amusement park just outside Oslo. With a speed of 90 km/h at one moment and free fall several meters in the next, the boys had an adventurous day.
“To sit dry in a wagon and end up soaking wet afterwards was the funniest thing at Tusenfryd,” says Ronaldo.
As a part of their visit to Norway, the players also visited Hydro’s corporate headquarters at Vækerø. The magician Jon Ensor held a spectacular show, which was well received by the young participants. Some of the tricks left a stronger impression than others.
“Seeing a glass bottle disappear through the table was really cool and something I will never forget,” says Ronaldo.