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Zhangjiagang :
National youth football event concludes, local team finishes fourth

Li Yi (left), a member of the Zhangjiagang Beibei team, competes with his rival Zhai Zijie from the Huizhou team during a match on July 24. Zhangjiagang went on to triumph 7-0 in the match. [Photo by Chen Congying/Xinhua]

The 20th Beibei Cup Youth Football Competition, the largest and most prestigious of its kind in China, drew to a conclusion in Fenghuang town in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu province on July 30.

With more than 500 players fighting for the trophy from July 24 to 30, the event finally saw a team of youngsters from Central China's Henan province lifting the trophy, after beating a team from Qingdao, a coastal city in East China's Shandong province in the final

The host team from Zhangjiagang finished in fourth place, behind Hubei province.

Zhao Yingjie (left) from the Zhangjiagang Beibei team gets psyched up for the match with his coach. [Photo by Chen Congying/Xinhua]

The young soccer stars this year received training from a panel of expert coaches throughout the tournament.

The most talented of all could soon be selected to represent Chinese national team's youth sides, as the event's slogan—"Beibei Cup today, World Cup tomorrow"—made clear. President Xi Jinping has set China the goal of winning football's greatest prize by 2050.

The Beibei Cup was launched in 1983 targeting teenagers aged 12 and under. The event was held annually every year until 2001, before being relaunched in 2016.

Xie Siyuan (left) and Li Shun (center) compete with Huang Jiehao from the Huizhou team on July 24. [Photo by Chen Congying/Xinhua]