The final whistle has blown on Tiger Street Football 2019, with team Hyper Rich from Klang Valley region lifting the trophy and taking home the grand prize of RM10,000, presented by football legend and Tiger Street Football Ambassador Rio Ferdinand. The Grand Finals, which took place at the Tiger Street Football Festival held at TREC KL, saw the best eight teams from across Peninsular Malaysia meet to battle it out for the title after a series of National Qualifiers held earlier this month.
Tiger Street Football celebrates those who’ve uncaged their footie skills on the street, where many of the world’s best footballers – including Rio Ferdinand himself – started out honing their craft.
“Growing up, the streets of Peckham were the only place where I could kick the ball and work on making my dream become reality. The streets were my stage, the place where I uncaged my inner tiger Through Tiger Street Football I want to share my experience with ambitious football talent in Malaysia and in the process, together with Tiger Beer, give them a stage to show the world what they’ve got.” said Ferdinand.
In addition to receiving their prize and trophy from Rio Ferdinand, the winning team also had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of playing against the legend in an exhibition match. Rio’s team was filled out by the winners of the #HEYRIO contest, which saw Tiger Beer fans upload their best football tricks on Instagram.
“Tiger Street Football has been an amazing journey, taking our skills from the streets and uncaging them in front of thousands of fans was incredible! Being crowned champions by Rio Ferdinand, and getting to actually play football with him is something we never dreamed of while we kicked the ball about with our friends. Thank you, Tiger Beer, for this fantastic opportunity!” said Naavin Krishnan, captain of Team Hyper Rich.
As well as being the venue for the Grand Finals, the Tiger Street Football Festival featured a range of activities for the thousands of football fans who turned up to cheer on the teams. Aside from the chance to meet Rio Ferdinand in person, there were plenty of games and challenges to test their football skills and earn them exclusive merchandise signed by Rio and other football legends.
Live music from bands RYOT JONES, Kaya and K-Town Clan kept the crowd on the ball throughout the evening, while football jugglers and the Tiger Street Football Cheerleading Squad added glamour to the drama of the matches. This being a Tiger event, there was also a great selection of delectable street food for patrons to enjoy with their ice-cold Tiger Beers.
“Tiger Beer has always been a huge supporter of football and football fans in Malaysia, and Tiger Street Football is a big part of that. Tying in with our overall ‘Uncage’ platform which inspires Malaysians to follow their passions, with Tiger Street Football we’ve given the opportunity to hundreds of players to take what they do on the streets and showcase their skills on a much bigger stage.” said Pearly Lim, Marketing Manager of Tiger Beer Malaysia.
National Qualifiers for Tiger Street Football 2019 were held in Klang Valley, Penang, and Johor Bahru, where 48 teams were whittled down to the top eight who went forward to the Grand Finals. A high-intensity game, based on futsal rules with a street-themed twist, the qualifying matches put each team through their places in a ‘double-elimination’ tournament format. The top two performing teams from each region qualified for the Grand Finals, and were joined by two ‘wildcard’ teams – those which didn’t place in first or second, but had the best overall goal difference across all qualifiers.