Our Story

Where Stars Are Born.

The Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup™ is an international U19 women’s and men’s tournament, which has been held without interruption – with the exceptions of 2020 and 2021 – since 1939. Many of the internationally known clubs have taken part in the tournament with their young teams. The record winner is Manchester United (18 wins). AC Milan, AS Roma, FC Barcelona, Arsenal, São Paulo and Boca Juniors have all won more than once. Of course, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Lisbon and many more have already participated in and on the Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup™. Therefore, it is not surprising that the slogan of the tournament is «Where Stars Are Born».

1939 die blue stars junioren an der eroeffnungszeremonie
1939 fritz rey begruesst die mannschaften zur premiere auf dem heiligfeld

The Beginning and the English Dominance

For more than 80 years, the world’s greatest football talents have been meeting in Zurich on Ascension Day. The annual “Blue Stars” tournament was founded in 1939 with Grasshoppers Club Zurich being the first winners entered into the Golden Book. Austria Vienna became the first foreign winners of the competition in 1947, successfully defending their crown a year later. In 1951, with Wolverhampton Wanderers the first English team took part. Since then, almost all major English clubs have participated in a tournament that continues to grow in popularity and importance.

In 1954, the victorious Manchester United team contained some of the finest young footballing talents ever assembled: Duncan Edwards, Bill Whelan, David Pegg, Eddie Colman, Albert Scanlon, Bobby Charlton and Wilf McGuinness all went on to play for their countries. Tragically, Edwards, Whelan, Pegg and Colman lost their lives in the infamous Munich air crash. Bobby Charlton returned to Zurich to contest the 1959 edition of the Blue Stars tournament. A few years later, he recounted how much participating in the Blue Stars Tournament meant to him:

Bobby Charlton and Wilf McGuinness talk about the Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup™ (Quelle: Manchester United Museum)

Just a decade later Bobby Charlton would hoist the famous Jules Rimet FIFA World Cup Trophy at Wembley Stadium after leading England to a historic victory over West Germany.

The Blue Stars trophy remained in Swiss hands in the early seventies, as BSC Young Boys, Grasshopper Club and Lausanne Sports won the tournament from 1970 to 1972.

Europe Is Not Enough

FIFA assumed patronage of the tournament in 1991, before it was renamed the Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup™ four years later. In 1999, Brazil side São Paulo became the first non-European winner of the tournament, defeating Zurich on penalties in the final in front of a passionate 11,000 crowd at the Letzigrund. European teams returned to the podium in 2003 as Italian club, AS Roma, defeated Spain’s Celta Vigo 2-1 in the final. Manchester United claimed the trophy in 2004 and repeated their triumph the following year to make it 18 wins – a record that stands to this day.

Over the past decade, foreign teams have been able to beat the Swiss five times. FC Zürich won the tournament twice during this period (2012 and 2013). However, big international names such as FC Porto, Boca Juniors, Atlético Paranaense, Olympique Lyonnais and Dinamo Zagreb were also successful.

A Women's and Men's Tournament

Since 2018, women perform at the Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup™ as well. The first two women’s tournaments were won by BSC Young Boys from Switzerland and VfL Wolfsburg from Germany. In 2022, FC Zurich Women faced their French counterparts from Olympique Lyonnais Féminin and won the final in a penalty shoot-out. More history is to be made.