MIC 2024: Not just a football tournament, but also a global experience

Review about the 2024 edition of Mediterranean International Cup (MIC), in “Costa Brava” (Spain)

We can talk about the hundreds of participating teams or about the top clubs from LALIGA and the other 4 big European leagues sending their youngsters to “Costa Brava”. We can mention that there are 8 different age categories and more than 50 venues where the competition is held. We can even point out that all games have official referees from the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), or that all teams get full accommodation, transport, and meals services, or that many games are broadcasted either on streaming or on TV. And let’s not forget about the splendid beaches and landscapes or the rich cultural heritage from this part of the world.

Photo credit: Javi Matas.

There are plenty of arguments we could choose to explain that MIC is the ultimate youth development competition abroad, but for that purpose we would rather tell you what we like the most about it:

The MIC has everything that a kid loving sports dreams of

Is there something we do not like about it? Of course:

It only takes place once a year, more precisely every year since 2001, during Spanish Easter period

Back in the day, it used to be held at Canary Islands (another coastal region of Spain). It was a bit later when it travelled north to see the one and only Ronaldo Nazário (also known as “O fenômeno”; Portuguese term for “The Genius”) hosting the presentation event of the 2003 edition. It happened just a few months after becoming a World Champion with Brazil National Team in Japan, scoring both goals at the 2-0 victory over Germany in the final, at Yokohama Stadium.

Since then, players like Messi and Lamine Yamal (with F.C. Barcelona), Neymar Junior (with Santos F.C.), Dani Carvajal (with Real Madrid), Cole Palmer (with Mancherter City), Rodri Hernández (with Atlético de Madrid) or Ruben Neves (with Oporto) have competed at the MIC.

Thanks to our partners INSTINCT BROTHERS (in the context of this year’s MIC) and its sports program VALUE VILLAGE we were able to enjoy one of the most complete and successful experiences at an international tournament. Who knows if Wakatake Group and our new collaborators will be responsible for the development of young talents that might eventually became the next Ronaldo or the next Messi?

Performance at the tournament

Wakatake Under 14: The oldest team from Wakatake reached the top 16 (out of more than one hundred participating teams) and therefore was the best performer among those receiving support by INSTINCT BROTHERS. We will hardly forget the heroic win after penalty shootouts against Real Sociedad, one of the long lasting LALIGA pro club partners from Wakatake Group. It was FC Andorra who eliminated them in the Round of 16, later falling just short of crowning themselves as champions of this category, ending it as runner-up.

  • Bonus track: They won the Pre-MIC tournament, which is a friendly competition held right before the actual MIC for some categories, played by teams that do not play so often and therefore can get some quality preparation ahead of the MIC.
  • Check the MIC article about this success
Photo credit: Javi Matas.

JP Select (at Under 14 category): As they had not had ever before the chance to play other tournaments together, it took them a few games to coordinate their game set, but the defence was very competitive in a tough group phase and later on they play 2 great games at the Consolidation Phase (elimination rounds for the teams that would not qualify for the Championship Knockout Phase), winning the first of them.

Wakatake Under 13: This was a very young team among this category and that became a key factor in the progress of the competition, but the attitude shown by the players was outstanding. The defeats never made the team and coach back down and showed pride. Also, they managed to stay in the game with a close score in two games against very tough opponents.

MSK 19 (at Under 14 category): A total of 6 games (3 wins and 3 loses, one of them against the Champions) made them reach the Consolidation Semifinals. This was one of the beloved teams of the MIC, as players from opposing sides like the Brazilian and American teams they played against had a great time after the games, taking pictures, sharing laughs and learning the basics of the Japanese language. The striker Yuki Ota finished as one of the top 5 goal scorers of the category.

Wakatake Under 12 (at Under 12-A category): Even though they matched the challenging competition expectations of the MIC and had two close games at the Group Phase, they couldn’t manage to reach the Championship Knockout Phase and they also lost the first elimination game of the Consolidation Phase. Nevertheless, this squad coached by the great Teruo Iwamoto (Japanese former international player) has grown a lot these days playing against teams like Real Madrid and some of their players will continue their development process with an immersive program in Spain during the following months, featured by Wakatake Group. We want to mention the wonderful bonding by the players with the Italian goalkeeper, Giulio, a kid that the whole expedition appreciated.

Photo credit: Javi Matas.

Wakatake Under 12 (at Under 12-B category): The rivals in the Group Phase were quite hard, but they reached the Championship Knockout Phase thanks to a victory by 4-1. This allowed them to play against the team who would eventually become champions of this category and the biggest club in Catalonia: F.C. Barcelona.

YSGEM (at Under 12-A category): 1 win, 1 draw and 1 loss permitted them going into the Championship Phase and become one of the underdogs (teams that weren’t expected to qualify but achieved so). Unfortunately, they were eliminated in the first Championship round after a penalty shootout against one of the local teams from Costa Brava.

Thank you so much for your support before and during the tournament, INSTINCT BROTHERS. We really hope this was the first step for a long term prolific relationship. It was a pleasure to live such a global experience side by side.

Looking forward to the 2025 edition of MIC!


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