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Pro Clubs & Colleges

Facilitating Data Scouting of Future Stars for Youth International Football Tournaments

By: Andy Cooper

Stats Perform has teamed up with Festival International Espoirs, which will result in Stats Perform’s most detailed Opta data being collected for two of this summer’s leading youth international football tournaments.

With a history dating back to the late 1960s, Tournoi Maurice Revello has a world-renowned reputation for hosting some of the biggest names in football during the early stages of their career, including four who played in the FIFA men’s World Cup final in December: Hugo Lloris, Adrian Rabiot, Axel Disasi and German Pezzella. In 2022 alone, 40 players who previously featured in the tournament went on to make their senior international debuts for their countries.

The tournament, which takes place every year in the Provence region of France, is famous for welcoming a mix of nations, including at least one from every different FIFA Confederation. This provides players with the challenge of facing teams, adopting different playing styles, which are influenced by the coaching culture in their respective nations. It also gives club scouts, based in Europe, the opportunity to watch new emerging talent, from the Americas, Africa and Asia, live for the first time.

The 2023 competition will be taking place from 5-18 June and will feature 12 squads fielding U21 or U20 teams: Australia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, France, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and a Mediterranean Select group.

Prior to the men’s competition, the Festival will also be hosting the fourth edition of the Sud Ladies Cup, which will feature four U20 female teams: France, Japan, Cameroon and Panama. Japan have reached the final at the last two editions of the FIFA Women’s U20 World Cup – and will be using the competition as part of their preparation to regain the world title they last secured in 2018. The Sud Ladies Cup will be played from 16-21 May.

Opta event data will be collected for every game played across both competitions, which comprises over 3,000 on-ball events per match. Each event includes accurate ball location data and over 300 different contextual qualifiers. This data will be available on each tournament’s official website, as well as to professional clubs scouting the tournament via Stats Perform’s ISF and ProVision platforms, to inform their player evaluation. Data will also be used to inform the identity of each tournament’s breakthrough player, which will be awarded by Stats Perform following each final.

Stats Perform will also be on site during both tournaments to showcase Opta data and new AI-enriched Opta Vision outputs, via a series of workshops, which will be taking place for club scouts.

After agreeing the collaboration, Mathieu Lille-Pallette, Senior Vice President – Opta, said: “We are pleased to be supporting two of world football’s leading independent youth tournaments. Over the years, the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Marquinhos, Sophia Smith and Laurina Fazer have all featured in these competitions on their respective pathways to senior international football – and I am sure there will be players appearing this year who will be following in their footsteps. Opta data will add further context to each of their on-field performances, which will inform the work of club scouts and the media outlets covering each competition.”

Festival Foot Espoirs President, Alain Revello, added: “Opta is recognised globally as being the world leader for detailed performance data – and I am delighted that we will be able to make this available to fans of both Tournoi Maurice Revello and Sud Ladies Cup via our websites. Data sits right at the heart of modern-sports storytelling and through Opta, we will be able to better inform our global audience of who the standout performers in 2023 are.”

For further information on both 2023 tournaments, please visit