CEE Cup 2022: The Ultimate Guide

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After three years away, the CEE Cup has returned for 2022, with the prestigious international showcase of talents set to get under way on July 22.

Top young players from across the world will get the opportunity to prove their abilities in front of specialised coaches and scouts, as well as fans watching online around the globe.

What is the CEE Cup?

The CEE Cup is an Under-19s tournament that is held in Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic, with the 2022 edition the tenth running of the competition.

The tournament pits domestic sides Slavia Prague and Sparta Prague up against some of the most promising youth sides from around the globe, in what is an opportunity to test themselves against some of world football's top young talents.

The six participating teams will be divided into two groups, with the winners facing off in the final.

Which players have starred at the CEE Cup?

The CEE Cup has unearthed a number of players who have gone on to star at senior level, including Everton winger Anthony Gordon, who is now a regular for the Toffees.

Another English winger who shone brightly in the tournament was Burnley's Dwight McNeil, while the most famous Czech player to ever grace the competition, Tomas Soucek, is also now playing in the Premier League at West Ham.

Other top Czech talents to have shone at the tournament include Sparta Prague duo Adam Hlozek and Adam Karabec, both of whom have previously been named to the NXGN list of the best teenagers in world football, with Hlozek having gone onto join Bayer Leverkusen in a €13 million (£11m/$13m) deal this summer.

Joshua Zirkzee, who was outstanding on loan at Anderlecht from Bayern Munich in 2021-22, is another to have appeared at the CEE Cup, as did Wesley, who has since won the Copa Libertadores with Palmeiras.

When does the 2022 CEE Cup start?

The tournament will kick off on Friday, July 22, and will come to a conclusion with the final on Tuesday, July 26.

Which teams are playing in the 2022 CEE Cup?

This year's tournament will feature top clubs from around the world in addition to the traditional domestic teams of Sparta Prague and Slavia Prague.

Aston Villa will participate in the competition for the first time, while Dynamo Kyiv are returning despite the difficulties facing the club amid the war in Ukraine.

Palmeiras are another side who have history at the competition, having won each of the last two tournaments, while Mexican out Tigres will be joining them in travelling over the Atlantic to participate.

The groups have been drawn, with Aston Villa joining Dynamo Kyiv and Slavia Prague in Group B, whilst Palmeiras and Tigres will face Sparta Prague in Group A.

Who are the best players at the 2022 CEE Cup?

After investing heavily in their academy over the past few years, Aston Villa are bringing a strong squad to the competition, including midfielder Tommi O'Reilly, who caught the eye of first-team manager Steven Gerrard towards the end of last season.

Centre-back Sil Swinkels is another to watch, with the Dutch defender known for his ability to carry the ball out from the back with ease.

Their Group B opponents Dynamo Kyiv have a squad largely made up of players who impressed during their UEFA Youth League run in 2021-22 that saw him beat both Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

None impressed more than central midfielder Anton Tsarenko, who now regularly trains with the club's first team despite having only turned 18 in June.

Of the homegrown Czech players on show, Sparta Prague striker Daniel Rus is one to watch, with the 16-year-old already having caught the eye while playing for the club's U19s.