Gazprom's international children's social programme Football for Friendship (F4F) gathers young players and journalists from around the world to participate in a range of events that aim to bring cultures together to promote fundamental values. Euronews met some of the young talents at the 2019 edition in Madrid.
Thirteen-year-old Petros comes from Greece. He loves to play football and spend time with his family. The young athlete is participating for his second time in Gazprom’s F4F, an opportunity for which is “very grateful.”
“I am so happy that, again, I got to share with a lot of people from all around the world and play football. I was in Moscow last year, can you imagine? I even got to go to the final of the World Cup!”
What’s the best thing about being with Football for Friendship in Madrid?
“I am a goalkeeper and F4F allows me to develop my skills,” Petros told Euronews.
“But playing with people from all around the world is also great,” he said.
"I am suddenly speaking many languages, and talking to people I would have never normally met...and on top of that, I can play football with them!"
Is language ever a barrier?
“Never,” he said. “I can always communicate with my teammates, it’s really never a problem because we are all the same.”
Petros said that people should “use the hands if it gets too hard, or you know, just use Google translator.”
Why should people know about Football for Friendship?
“The values we are taught at Football for Friendship are very important. My favourite is Equality. Football can help people to practice respect. As I said, when we play we are all the same, there is no difference.”
Petros said he also learned that “we should all respect other people, and other cultures. They are all very interesting. That’s the best part of Football for Friendship, and what I will take home with me forever."
To his family he’d like to say:
“I love them! I love them back in Greece, I can’t wait to share with them my experiences and show them all the pictures.”
“I also want to tell them about the final of the Champions League, that will sure be great!”