What a year to review for Challenger Sports World Tours! 650 international travellers, 24 teams and 9 countries later; 2019 has undeniably been one for the books.
Eight groups kicked off their summer season in the best way possible, at the FIFA Women’s World Cup with a side of French baguettes and fine cheese. Venues throughout France played host to the most renowned faces in soccer history, and sitting-sideline were 175 World Tour players, coaches and families with Challenger World Tours. In addition to their World Cup extravaganza, some groups combined their trip to France with additional trips to the United Kingdom and Italy.
Challenger World Tour hot spots continue to hold favor in Western Europe. The United Kingdom was the most popular 2019 destination for our teams, with many staying in the cities of London and Chester while making visits to and experiencing the sights and sounds of Liverpool, Manchester, York, Cardiff and North Wales. Challenger’s flourishing relationship with Glasgow Rangers FC continues into the New Year, following our send-off of three groups to the countryside of Scotland where time between training sessions was spent sightseeing in and around the Rangers Club, Edinburgh and St. Andrews. From Denver to the UK, The Colorado Rapids Academy packed away their mountain gear to travel with us as well. Players partook in friendly games against Charlton Athletic, Birmingham City and Manchester United Academies to improve their soccer skills… and British accents.
Coming up behind the UK, Spain’s vibrant culture and rich soccer history attracts Challenger World Tour participants far and near. Hot spot destinations like Madrid and Barcelona make for the full “fútbol” immersion experience. In between spectacular sightseeing, groups had the opportunity to attend training sessions with Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid & Espanyol. Combining hard work and play, teams battled it out in a round of friendly matches against local opposition throughout the excursion.
The United States, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Holland and Argentina were other countries visited by our groups throughout the year. In Brazil, the Senegal U17 National team spent 10 days at Oscar Inn on a customized trip to prep the squad for the U17 World Cup. The team played three games including a friendly against the Haitian National Team. Further south, IMG Soccer Academy spent eight days in Buenos Aires. Players matched against youth academies San Lorenzo, Argentino Juniors, Boca Juniors Youth Academy and Ferro.
“We had an amazing time on the Challenger World Fan Tour to Spain this year. My daughter and Grandson received this as a Christmas gift from myself as I wanted to give them a gift that would last a lifetime. We got to see Madrid and Barcelona and outside of soccer we got to see so much European history which was very educational. I was extremely impressed how Challenger was able to fit in so much. The soccer was amazing and my grandson was so happy just to watch soccer games in another country, but the icing on the cake was seeing Messi score and Barcelona win the league. We even got to see fireworks and the trophy presentation… It was awesome!” – Deb, 2019 World Tours traveler
As great as the year was, we are thrilled for even more world travel, cultural immersion, and memories of a lifetime as the new decade rolls around. 2020’s Easter Fan Tour takes us to the land of pasta, pizza and Juventus FC – We’re off to Italy! The 2019 Fan Tour will be a tough one to beat, considering the trip took participants to see Barcelona take home La Liga gold, and lay witness to Messi’s game winning goal. Anyone from the United States or Canada can attend this family-friendly tour and watch history made in the Serie A league.
Visit our Challenger World Tour’s site for more information, and details on how to book here.