On the selection of the top three young footballers, Head Coach of Nike's The Chance global tour and Nike Academy Director of Football Jimmy Gilligan, said: “The global tour has afforded these 16 finalists the footballing opportunity of a lifetime. The commitment from the squad has been relentless and the standard of football highly impressive.
“Each of the finalists have given everything they have during their time with us at Nike’s The Chance, and each one can hold their head up high and know that they did themselves proud. It has been a pleasure to work with all of them and I wish each one of them every success for the future – I am sure this won’t be the end of their journey.
“I look forward to welcoming and working with Marco, Kevin and Gonzalo at the Nike Academy – as they continue to develop and take their chance to get noticed at the highest level.”
Throughout the tour the 16 finalists benefited from an extended team of elite coaches, nutritionists and fitness conditioners throughout the tour, to ensure they arrived at each training session and fixture focused and in peak condition. And each stop gave the players the chance to catch the eye of leading coaches in the game.
Since the start of The Chance competition in 2010, 16 players have turned their participation into a professional club contract. The most recent, Tom Rogic from Australia, signed for Scottish Champions Celtic FC and recently played for the Australia national team.