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In preparation for the FIFPro Tournament, three of the participating teams played friendly matches against professional opposition. The French impressed, while the Danish and Dutch showed positive signs although they did not win.

 

Team UNFP played five test matches. The French squad beat Lens (1-0, Division 2), Créteil (3-0, Division 3) and Orléans (1-0, D3), lost to Le Havre (0-2, D2) and ended the match against Châteauroux (D2) with a 0-0 draw.

 

Team UNFP appears to be ready for its title defence. The French have won the latest two editions of the FIFPro Tournament, in 2009 and 2010. And they won the initial edition in 2005. Steven Pinto-Borges scored the game-winner against Orléans on Wednesday, Team UNFP's last friendly.

 

Team VVCS from the Netherlands has won the FIFPro Tournament twice: in 2006 and 2008. This year’s team (coached by Henk Wisman) played four games against Division 2 teams. Three matches were lost, all close games: 1-0 defeats against AGOVV Apeldoorn and  FC Den Bosch, 2-0 against Almere City FC. Team VVCS was close to winning against FC Emmen: 1-1. Although the Dutch team has not won a game, union president Danny Hesp is upbeat. ‘Most of the games we played well and we were in the game. We created several opportunities, but had a hard time finding the net.’

 

On Tuesday, the Danish Team Spillerforeningen lost 1-4 against FC Nordsjælland. FCN has won the latest two cup tournaments in Denmark. A few of the regular first team players joined the reserves of FCN. Kim Have scored the only goal for the union’s team.

 

 
However, coach Kresten Blæsild remains positive despite the defeat of Team Spillerforeningen.  ‘We can bring with us a lot from this test match. We ran a lot and occasionally showed good football that definitely challenged their defence. Remember that we have gathered players from all over the country and that this is the first match that we play together. You cannot expect everything to run smoothly. Now we are more prepared for the tournament in the Netherlands.’

 

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Jon Volf Andersen, Team Spillerforeningen

 

 

 

Picture on top: Lasse Qvist, Team Spillerforeningen

Fotos © Per Kjærbye / Fodboldbilleder.dk