Bayern Munich has started to focus a lot on youth development in the past decade. Through ventures such as Red & Gold Football, a cooperation with Los Angeles FC, and the FC Bayern World Squad, Bayern has demonstrated a desire to help young footballers grow, even if they may not be Bayern players. But the longest running initiative in this regard is neither of the two mentioned above.
It is the FC Bayern Youth Cup. It is explained in full detail here, but essentially it is a free to enter, all expenses paid yearly tournament hosted by Bayern in which Bayern’s partners organize local tournaments throughout eight competing countries, before youth coaches and Bayern legends hand pick the best players from the tournaments to form a full team for each country. Each team is then brought to Munich and competes in a knockout style tournament in the Olympiastadion, Bayern’s former stadium.
This year, the winners were the defending champions Nigeria, who beat first timer participants South Africa in the final. South Africa did boast the player who was crowned best in the tournament, Buthelezi Aphiwe, who then ‘qualified’ for the 2024 FC Bayern World Squad.