Barcelona Cup Salou – International Youth Football Tournament, Salou, Spain

Barcelona Cup Salou – International Youth Football Tournament, Salou, Spain

The Barcelona Cup is an international youth football tournament for boys and girls, held in Salou (Cambrils) 70 miles southwest of Barcelona in the ‘Costa Daurada’ region of Spain.

The tournament takes place twice a year (April and October) in the awesome Complex Esportiu – Futbol Salou.

Complex Esportiu – Futbol Salou – Barcelona Cup Salou, Spain

In April my son’s team – East Kilbride Caledonian Thistle (2004’s), traveled to Spain to take part in the 2-day tournament that was to be held on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th.

As an avid traveler, I was delighted when the coaches announced that we would be taking part in the tournament. I was a big fan of Spain, although I had never been to Salou, or Barcelona, where we would be flying into. But great deals can always be found for Spain from the UK, and – as the tournament was being held just after the ‘Easter Holidays’ – we managed to get a good deal on flights through Skyscanner.

We – the parents, coaches, and the boys (under 13’s) – departed Glasgow Airport early (7.30am) on Thursday 20th of April for a five-day trip.

On arrival to Barcelona, our first port of call was a tour of ‘Camp Nou’ – the home of the mighty Barcelona FC. The entrance fee was slightly overpriced at 26€ a pop but the silverware and memorabilia on display was delightful eye candy for any football fan. The tour lasted a couple of hours and then we headed back to the bus and began the 1.5 hour journey to Salou.

We had reservations in the ‘Hotel Best Cambrils‘, about 3 miles along the coast from the centre of Salou in an area known as Cambrils.

The 5 storey hotel was a pleasant surprise – clean and well maintained, with a large swimming pool below our 2nd-floor balcony, and located less than a 100 yards from the beach.

It was pretty noisy though – with kids football teams checked in from France, Belgium, Ireland, Scotland, and England. I wouldn’t recommend staying at the  ‘Hotel Best Cambrils‘ when the tournament is on – April and October – but in any other month, if you were ever headed for Salou, it would be a hotel worth considering.

After a decent buffet in the hotel – whilst my son played table tennis and pool with his pals – my wife and I went for an evening stroll along the impressive Cambrils, palm-lined promenade. It was a beautiful evening down at the waterfront – a cool Mediterranean breeze rolled waves onto the beach under the orange glow of the sinking sun as we meandered along the sand-covered sidewalk.

It had been a long old day and so we got the heads down early that 1st night. The next morning – Friday, the boys trained on the beach and then took it easy for the rest of the day in preparation for the start of the tournament on Saturday.

Training on the beach

The facilities at Complex Esportiu – Futbol Salou are top notch and on the first day of the tournament the boys played well – topping their group with a 3-3 draw against a French side (in which my son – a right back, scored), and then winning their next two games against Irish opposition.

The second day wasn’t so fruitful after they got knocked out of the quarter finals by a big, strong Irish team who went on to win the tournament in the under 13’s (2004) age group. Another win against a French team and then an unlucky defeat to a Belgian side and our team finished in 5th place, with our striker – Jamie McDermott, winning top goal scorer in the under 13’s age group.

Monday was well-deserved chilltime for the boys after two physically demanding days. A walk into Salou – a swim in the sea; a few refreshments for the parents and coaches. Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with Salou and Cambrils and would go back again in a flash. Temperatures at this time ranged between 20°C and 24°C – cool in the shade and warm in the sun.

Barcelona Cup Salou – International Youth Football Tournament, Salou, Spain

Barcelona Cup Salou – a Football Trip to Salou

‘In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.’

Copyright © 2017 Raymond Carroll