By Sports Reporter/Doha
The lavish closing ceremony of the Al Kass International Cup 2016 culminated in confetti and cash prizes as Aspire Football Dreams were crowned champions of tournament for a second time yesterday.
On a thrilling evening of football at the Aspire Zone, Aspire Football Dreams beat Real Madrid 2-0 in the tournament final, while Inter Milano bowed out on a high after defeating FC Red Bull Salzburg 2-1 in the third-place play-off.
Celebrating its fifth and most successful tournament yet, the Al Kass International Cup 2016 provided a spectacular send-off for the footballers who lit up the 2016 competition.
With hundreds of local football fans in the crowd to witness the celebrations, the final night extravaganza did not disappoint.
Winning the tournament for a second time after their 2014 success, Aspire Football Dreams were honoured in spectacular style following their final match triumph over Real Madrid—which is the second showdown between these two teams in the tournament’s history.
In front of a full capacity crowd, members of Aspire Football Dreams were presented with winner’s trophies, and a cheque for US$75,000 (QR 274,000), by Mohamed Khalifa al-Suwaidi, Acting CEO of Aspire Zone.
Moments later al-Suwaidi presented the tournament’s golden trophy to Aspire Football Dreams captain, Mohamed Katana Nyanje, who then lifted it high, sparking a spectacular fireworks display as confetti reigned down, and a celebratory soundtrack rang throughout the stadium.
Meanwhile, earlier on in the ceremony other teams were awarded for their respective tournament successes also. For reaching the final and finishing second, Real Madrid were recognised with a US$40,000 (QR146,000) cheque and silver medals, presented by Essa al-Hitmi, head of the tournament’s Organising Committee.
Meanwhile, Italian giants, Inter Milano collected US$25,000 (QR91,000) for their third place finish and bronze medals, awarded to them by Mansoor al Ansari, General Secretary, Qatar Football Association.
In addition, the competition’s Golden Boot was bestowed upon Paris Saint-Germain forward Thimothy Tarpeh Weah who scored five goals—alongside Aspire Academy’s Abdulrasheed Ibrahim.
Aspire Football Dreams captain, Mohamed Katana Nyanje, was recognised as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player and received US$3,000 (QR11,000), awarded to him by Mansour al-Muftah, former captain of the Qatar National team.
Real Madrid keeper Francisco Daniel Pujante was also recognised as the tournament’s best goalkeeper and received US$3,000 (QR11,000) awarded to him by Younus Ahmed, former goal keeper of the Qatar National team.
However, at this unique tournament all those who participated were recognised for their efforts, as other cash prizes worth thousands of dollars were also granted to teams further down the final standings table.
Even Shanghai Greenland, the Chinese team who finished in 12th place, left the tournament US$4,000 (QR15,000) better off.
Meanwhile, a Fair Play trophy and US$3,000 (QR11,000) was also awarded to the team with the best overall disciplinary record.
Finishing the competition with just three bookings, it was Aspire Qatar who picked up this honourable prize during the closing ceremony.
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