The HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens is the world’s best seven-a-side football tournament where fans can see the stars of tomorrow and some of the legends of the game in one exciting event. Held at Hong Kong Football Club every year from 1999 except in 2003, the event is divided into two tournaments.
The Main Tournament is open age (players must be at least 16) and features youth and academy teams from some of the top clubs in Europe playing against more senior players from clubs and teams around the Asia-Pacific region.
Aston Villa have won a record six times (2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2016), while Blackburn Rovers (1999), Arsenal (2001), Newcastle (2012), Leicester (2013) and Manchester City (2014) are the other English clubs to have lifted the Cup.
Hong Kong clubs Kitchee (2011) and Instant Dict (2000), Japan’s Urawa Reds (2005, 2006), Scotland’s Celtic (2009) and Spain’s Atletico Madrid (2015) are the tournament’s only non-English champions.
Current and former English Premier League aces Gary Cahill, Glen Johnson, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Jack Grealish, Sammy Ameobi, Anton Ferdinand, David Bentley and Marc Albrighton, plus Scotland internationals Shaun Maloney, Craig Beattie and Chris Burke, are just some of the young players who first made a name for themselves in this tournament.
The Masters Tournament is for players aged 35 and over and features former stars from Europe’s top leagues competing in this entertaining yet hard-fought category.
The roll call of Masters stars includes former internationals Peter Beardsley, John Barnes, Teddy Sheringham, Chris Waddle, Des Walker, Andy Cole, Matt Le Tissier, Gordon Cowans, Mark Walters, Michael Thomas (all England), Jurgen Klinsmann, Pierre Littbarski (both Germany), Jari Litmanen (Finland), Aron Winter (Netherlands), Didier Six (France) and Mustapha Hadji (Morocco).
Lorenz All Stars have been the most successful Masters teams with four titles (2000, 2005, 2006, 2007) and three other finals appearances, while Ajax All Stars (2012, 2014), Rangers (2008, 2013) and Philips All Stars (2002, 2004) have each won twice.
USCR won the title in 2015 after edging out Wallsend Boys Club, with Citi All Stars claiming the title for the first time in 2016.