Youthful talents convene in Toulon

Youthful talents convene in Toulon
By Eurosport

01/06/2005 at 18:36Updated

The Toulon Youth Festival - featuring eight teams from four different continents - takes place on the French Riviera from 1-10 June for the 33rd time in its history. The veritable window for hot new talent was won by France last year, but just how have th

France's win secured Raymond Domenech's only title in the ten years he presided over the Youth Team. Just days later the generously eyebrowed coach was named manager of the Senior Team after Jacques Santini threw in the towel following France's Euro 2004 flop.

"That tournament made me think for the first time that maybe I did have enough talent to play for France," said the midfielder frequently compared to former French legend Jean Tigana.

Four months after his big impression in Toulon, Mavuba was handed his senior team debut for Les Blues in their 0-0 qualifying match against Ireland, aged 20.

The Golden Boot of the 2004 Tournament was none other than Lyon starlet Bryan Bergougnoux, who scored the only goal during the final against Sweden.

Since then, the 22-year-old has played intermittently for Ligue 1 champions Lyon, most memorably scoring twice from the bench in their Champions League group match against Sparta Prague.

Goalkeeper Ludovic Butelle, 22, has since left his Ligue 1 side Metz to become Santiago Canizares' understudy at Liga team Valencia.

Things have not started swimmingly for the keeper, who was injured just 27-minutes into his debut, in a pre-season friendly against Parma FC, and had to have his spleen removed.

Soon after the Toulon tournament, following an argument with coach José Anigo, the 20-year-old - who had not yet signed a professional contract with Marseilles - was enticed by Arsène Wenger to join then-Premiership champions Arsenal.

Flamini made 18 starts in all competitions (and 14 as substitute) for the Gunners, fitting in well to the midfield in the absence of Patrick Vieira and Gilberto. In May, the player won the FA Cup with his new team.

Le Tallec's stay with Elie Baup's side was plagued by injury and he failed to make it into the first team; the striker played a minimal role since returning to the Champions League winners.

Likewise, Sinama-Pongolle struggled to break into Liverpool's first team, but his chances were made more regular with the injuries of Harry Kewell, Djibril Cissé and Milan Baros.

THE EIGHT TEAMS IN THIS YEAR'S EVENT:

England, Portugal, France, Japan, Tunisia, Korea, South Africa, Mexico

PAST WINNERS OF THE TOULON TOURNAMENT:

2004: France

2003: Portugal (Manchester United snapped up Ronaldo as a result)

2002: Brazil (Inter scouts spotted Adriano)

2001: Portugal

2000: Columbia

1999: Columbia

1998: France

1996: Brazil

1995: Brazil

SOME MISLEADING AWARDS:

In 1987 the tournament fairplay award went to... England!

In 1991 the best 'keeper prize went to... England's David James !

Well, they can't get it right every time, can they!?

Follow the 2005 Toulon Tournament live from 1-10 June on EUROSPORT TV and on eurosport.com!

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