What does it take to go from playing five-a-side in your local park to playing football alongside Neymar Jr. in his hometown?
Fourteen players from Ireland, North and South, made that exact journey this year.
Representing the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland respectively, teams Whoyaplayin’ and Distillery Elites battled their way through the national qualifiers and on to the World Final of Neymar Jr’s Five in Praia Grande in Brazil.
Distillery Elites'captain Darius Roohi recalls the once-in-a-lifetime experience, “Football is everything to me, I live, sleep and breathe football! The opportunity to represent Northern Ireland on a global level was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s the type of thing you dream about as a child. Playing football in the hometown of Neymar and watching him play has been an incredible experience”