The President of Portuguese side Nacional Madeira, Macedo Alvarez Rui Antonio, and a host of scouts from several top European clubs are set to storm the city of Umuahia, Abia State, for the 2018 edition of Diamond Cup which kicks off on Tuesday 17th July. The invitational tournament which is being organized by Diamond Football Academy will see teams from Port Harcourt, Uyo, Aba and other parts of the country battle for honors in the presence of Madeira vice-president Deadreu Rodriquez Federico Augusto and other top scouts such as Paulo Desaria (Portugal), PSG scout Rolland Merci and Didier Sitou from France.
Diamond Academy is one of the foremost amateur clubs in Nigeria and is reputed to have produced players who have made the country proud, like Kelechi Nwakali of Arsenal and Villarreal teenage sensation Samuel Chukwueze, who won the MVP award in the 2016 edition of Diamond Cup.
The duo won top awards as Nigeria claimed the 2015 U-17 FIFA World Cup trophy in Chile. While Nwakali who picked up the golden boot secured a dream move to Arsenal, Chukwueze was snapped up by Villarreal.
Others players who have also passed through the Umuahia based Academy are Chukwuebuka Iroha who was part of Samson Siasia’s U23 team that won the 2015 African U23 Cup of Nations in Senegal and former junior international Jack Ipalibo who is currently on the books of Villarreal.
Several top football academies from all parts of Nigeria are expected to arrive Umuahia on Monday ahead of the tournament which starts Tuesday at the brand new Diamond Stadium Umuahia from 9am, with winner of the tournament pocketing a prize money of N150,000, while the second placed team will go home with N50,000.
There will also be prizes for the Most Valuable Player, highest goal scorer and best goalkeeper.
The biggest winners, however, will be the budding talents whose fortunes are set to change for good if they are picked by any of the scouts.