“Remember this weekend as one of the highlights in your football education!”3 June 2023
It is Friday, June 2nd, and the clock reads half-past one. The players from all participating teams and their coaches have taken their seats in the sports hall for the tournament opening. They are eagerly anticipating the start of the 33rd Marveld Tournament. For example, the Feyenoord players left Rotterdam this morning at around nine o’clock. When asked if they will become champions just like the main team in Rotterdam Zuid, they responded with a resounding “Yes”. Is this a display of Rotterdam bravado or genuine self-confidence? We will find out on Sunday evening.
Tournament chairman Marco Frank takes the stage and addresses everyone present, especially the players. He gives a special welcome to the Brazilian team Palmeiras, who are participating for the first time this year. Using a series of slides, Frank outlines the history of the Marveld Tournament and how it has evolved into its current form. There is special recognition for Ajax, who are participating for the twenty-fifth time this year and received a “special gift” from Marco Frank. Frank then turns his attention back to the footballers, the stars of this weekend: “We hope you have an amazing weekend and play fantastic matches. Show fair play and beautiful football. Remember this weekend as one of the highlights in your football journey!”
Next up is Oost-Gelre’s alderman, Arjen Schutten. Before officially opening the tournament, he warmly welcomes all the teams, even attempting to speak in their native languages, perhaps with a little help from Google Translate. He then formally declares the tournament open, and the players, who are now eagerly awaiting the competition, are almost ready to begin. But first, they will enjoy a delicious plate of spaghetti with meat sauce and salad.