Our Experience at the Gothia Cup

Alexandria
International Travel
October 9, 2023
The Gothia Cup is an international youth soccer tournament held in Gothenburg, Sweden. It is said to be the largest soccer tournament in the world and is nicknamed the “Youth World Cup”, as it is also the most international youth soccer tournament with teams from over 70 different nations. The tournament is put on by a local Swedish Professional Soccer Club called BK Hacken and the first one was held in 1975.

2023 Gothia Cup By Numbers:

70 Nations
1878 Teams
4771 Matches
110 Pitches

Our Experience at the Gothia Cup
Our Experience at the Gothia Cup
We first heard about the Gothia Cup from my daughter’s coach and he pointed us to FC New England. FC New England is a soccer organization that provides players with this unique experience every summer. They create teams with players all over the United States starting at U11. The coaches also come from clubs and colleges throughout the US. They announce the rosters a few months before the tournament and conduct zoom meetings for the girls to put names with faces. We also connected with a bunch of the players through Instagram before we left.
Our Experience at the Gothia Cup

All of our accommodations and transportation were organized by FCNE, plus a couple of our meals. Both hotels we lodged at provided breakfast (yay danish pastries every morning) and each were close to grocery stores. FCNE offers “land only” packages, where you can purchase your own plane tickets or they offer full packages which include the plane tickets, starting at a specific city. Based on our experience and some stories from others, I would recommend anyone to sign up for “land only” and have total control over your own flights.

Our Experience at the Gothia Cup
Our Experience at the Gothia Cup
Our Experience at the Gothia Cup
Our Experience at the Gothia Cup

Our Gothia Cup journey started in Copenhagen, Denmark, where we first met our team and coaches in person. FCNE held practices and scrimmages for the teams at local Danish soccer clubs during our time here.The parents didn’t have to attend practices and could use that time to explore Copenhagen. For scrimmages, we went as a group and were invited to stay afterwards at the clubs, for food and drinks. This was such a great opportunity to see how the local clubs are run and how the game is taught slightly differently in each country. The local clubs in Copenhagen had large indoor clubhouses where the players and parents would hang out, usually next to another large area outside with picnic tables. We visited two different clubs while in Copenhagen, and each welcomed us with such hospitality! We even got to experience “hygge” with one team after the matches. We all gathered in the clubhouse and were served fresh fruit and juices.

The Danish Clubhouse Hygge
The Danish Clubhouse Hygge
**Hygge is a Danish term with no direct English translation. It’s more of a feeling, rather than a word. Hygge happens in a cozy atmosphere which nurtures individual feelings of safety, relaxation, and contentment.

While our training and games in Denmark were only a short time, we left for Sweden filled with gratitude and eagerness to experience more! It was much more about the community of youth soccer rather than the competition. It was definitely a welcomed change of pace for a couple weeks.

Some Ideas:

Use an eye dropper or squeeze water bottle with warm water to melt the ice.

Hammer it with a small kid-friendly wooden mallet.

TIme how long it takes the egg to melt sitting under the sun.

If your kids are complete animals like mine, they’ll find the best way to get their dinosaurs out was to blast the eggs on the pool deck and watch the ice egg explode.

The bus ride from Copenhagen to Gothenburg, Sweden was about 3 hours. In Gothenburg we stayed at the Gothia Towers, which seemed to be the host hotel for the tournament. Gothia Towers is a huge resort consisting of two large towers, multiple restaurants, bars, and cafés. It was pretty centrally located in Gothenburg, and was a short five minute walk to many of the soccer fields. For the fields that we had to travel further distance, the public bus system was incredibly easy to navigate, and we used it to go to multiple parts of Gothenburg while we were there.Gothenburg, Sweden is the 2nd largest city in Sweden, after Stockholm and gave “big city” vibes with several cute neighborhoods full of shops and restaurants.
The Atmosphere in Gothenburg
The Atmosphere in Gothenburg
The Atmosphere in Gothenburg
Once we were in Gothenburg, it was full-on soccer tournament mode. There were no more practices with the teams and the FCNE group as a whole split up into their respective teams. Each team was given our tour guide to help navigate the city and field locations.

The atmosphere felt very much like a World Cup experience! Multiple stadiums, teams from all over the world, and an incredible opening ceremony! The Opening Ceremony was held in Ullevi Stadium, Scandinavia’s largest stadium. It was a 2 hour long show with signers, dancers, fireworks, and a presentation of all participating nations. The kids still talk about this being one of their favorite parts of the trip.

The Atmosphere in Gothenburg

Some Ideas:

Use an eye dropper or squeeze water bottle with warm water to melt the ice.

Hammer it with a small kid-friendly wooden mallet.

TIme how long it takes the egg to melt sitting under the sun.

If your kids are complete animals like mine, they’ll find the best way to get their dinosaurs out was to blast the eggs on the pool deck and watch the ice egg explode.

Gothia Cup Opening

Some Ideas:

Use an eye dropper or squeeze water bottle with warm water to melt the ice.

Hammer it with a small kid-friendly wooden mallet.

TIme how long it takes the egg to melt sitting under the sun.

If your kids are complete animals like mine, they’ll find the best way to get their dinosaurs out was to blast the eggs on the pool deck and watch the ice egg explode.

The tournament started on a Monday, concluding with finals on Saturday. It was incredibly well organized and an app was used to post all of the matches schedules and results. We had two kids in the tournament, so we had to divide and conquer most of the time. The good part was that our girl’s only had one game per day on their schedule. Their brackets (U11 and U12) were much smaller than some of the other brackets, so this probably won’t be the case for older teams.

Overall, our experience at the Gothia Cup was unique and life changing. We met so many families and formed so many relationships from this trip. Months later and we still have an active team group chat.

Share Our Gothia Cup Experience on Pinterest!
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