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 aiming to bring cultures together to promote the fundamental values of the sport. Euronews met some of the young talent at the 2019 edition in Madrid.
No matter where they come from, they can all agree that the best thing about Football for Friendship is the chance to meet, play and compete with people from all around the world.
"Football brings people together, and even if we come from different countries, we are on the same earth," Ravindu Dias from Sri Lanka told us.
Ravindu has been playing for most of his life, since he was just three years old. "I started playing early on and thought it was fun to kick the ball around," he said. "Being here is great because besides being super fun, you get to figure out how people play football around the world. Although it doesn't really change, we really are all the same."
Football for Friendship can help people in more personal ways too, as Nassim Bella, 12, from Denmark told us. "You won’t be lonely if you play football, and if you are, you’ll feel better. Here you can be with your friends, you can laugh, you can cheer up."
For Ghanaian Christopher Sowah, taking part is an opportunity to develop his skills in order to become a professional football player. "Football makes you happy, and if you don’t have much money it can help. I am from a poor family, and I want to help my family become rich, and if you're good, playing football gives a lot of money."
He also told us he was especially excited about attending the Champions League final: "I want to meet many football stars and idols."
Football for Friendship encourages the strengthening of nine universal values: equality, fairness, health, friendship, peace, devotion, victory, traditions, and honour.
"My favourite value is friendship because, without it, we can't play football at all," added Ravindu.