- After two years of being developed virtually due to the pandemic, the Enel Cup returned to the courts to build its 21st version, closing the tournament in the gymnasium of the Ester Roa stadium in Concepción.
- Among the matches valid for the men's and women's finals, some of the boys and girls who played in the tournament were able to play two games against former national soccer celebrities. Stars included Esteban Paredes, Nicolás Peric, Gabriel "Coca" Mendoza, Francisco "Murci" Rojas, Rodrigo "Chamuca" Barrera, Manuel Neira, Francisco Prieto, and Leonel Herrera, among others.
Concepción, December 18, 2022. In its 21st version and after two years of functioning virtually due to the pandemic, Copa Enel had its long-awaited return to the field. The competition with boys up to 13 years old and girls up to 15 years old, from 136 teams from Calama, Colbún, Santiago, and Concepción, to play the tournament in person between September and December.
Three thousand children played 170 matches for four months to reach the final at the Ester Roa Municipal Stadium Gymnasium in Concepción. The teams from Taller Municipal de Concepción and Lo Prado of the Metropolitan Region, both in the women's and men's categories, reached this instance and played regionally for the first time.
"As Enel, we are proud to continue participating in the sports development of children in Chile, especially at the regional level and even more so in the territories where we have a presence as a company because we understand that talent is in every corner of the country. The Enel Cup has had a regional presence for six years, and today, for the first time, we are holding the grand final outside Santiago. We hope that this experience is only the beginning of the professionalism of many boys and girls who were part of this significant tournament at a national level, in terms of formative soccer", said James Lee Stancampiano, general manager of Enel Generación Chile.
The first duel was that of the women, disputed between the representatives of Taller Municipal Barrio Norte of Concepción and Lo Prado of the Metropolitan Region in a match that stood out for the excellent level shown by the players of both squads and, above all, for the fair play prevailing throughout the game. The final score was 5 - 2 in favor of the representatives of Lo Prado, who were crowned as the 2022 winners of the Enel Cup, obtaining tickets to Italy to meet and enjoy with the stars of Inter Milan.
"The Enel Cup is 21 years old, and it is a source of pride for our company to have promoted this initiative that reinforces our commitment to the community. During all these years, we have witnessed the enthusiasm and motivation of more than 150 thousand boys and girls participating in the country's most emblematic children's soccer tournament. Thanks to their talent and dedication, we are proud that many of them have had important achievements such as playing in professional teams," explained Victor Tavera, general manager of Enel Distribución.
After the women's final and matches played between male and female players against former professional footballers, it was the men's final. A game played by the teams of Taller Municipal Concepción and Lo Prado, who played an electrifying duel with a demonstration of good soccer and respect between both teams, an instance that ended with a score of 5 - 1, crowning the team from the Metropolitan Region as champions.
"Since I am at the World Cup in Qatar, I missed the final of the Enel Cup, but the pride of knowing that once again this tournament, undoubtedly the most important of its kind at the national level, once again ended successfully leaves me content. Above all, the enthusiasm and faith that, hopefully, some of these boys and girls will be crowned champions. I hope that some of these kids will one day represent the colors of our beloved Chilean National Team, just as I once did. If not, I know that sport will make them better people," said Iván Zamorano, former historic captain of the Chilean National Team and ambassador of Copa Enel.
Since its creation in 2001, the Enel Cup has been the seedbed and cradle of outstanding professional soccer players. Some of whom today play in different national first division clubs, such as Nicolás Guerra, currently a forward for Ñublense; Pablo Aranguiz, midfielder for Universidad de Chile; Jeisson Vargas, also a forward for Universidad de Chile; Carlos Lobos, currently with Huachipato, and Jaime Carreño, midfielder for Deportes La Serena, among others.
Thus, after four months of an intense tournament, played in the regions of Antofagasta, Metropolitana, Maule, and Bío-Bío, the most influential children's soccer championship in Chile closed its 21st version, and with new champions. Next year, they will travel to Milan, accompanied by Iván Zamorano himself, to visit the facilities of the Inter Milan club and play matches with the lower divisions of the Lombardy team. They will then pass through Venice to finish the trip to Rome and return to Chile.