Mario Balotelli and Nani have been announced as participants in this year’s edition of The Soccer Tournament, a 7-on-7 tournament which awards the winning team $1million.
The inaugural tournament featured 32 teams, including squads representing Borussia Dortmund, Wrexham, West Ham and Wolves. Clint Dempsey was also involved in the tournament as a coach.
Now, the competition is expanding to 48 teams and Balotelli and Nani are getting involved.
The former Manchester United winger told ESPN that he learned of the tournament through ex-Portugal teammate Luis Boa Morte, who played on West Ham’s team last summer.
‘He sent me a link and I was watching the game and I said, ‘Oh, this is really a nice tournament, maybe we can join next time,” Nani told ESPN. ‘And now here we are, ready to participate.’
Mario Balotelli will participate in this summer’s The Soccer Tournament in North Carolina
The striker is playing on the same team as Nani, who now plays for Adana Demirspor
Balotelli and Nani are seen facing off in the Manchester Derby in 2011 at Old Trafford
Nani and Balotelli, who are currently teammates on Turkish side Adana Demirspor, will team up on ‘Nani FC’ this summer.
Nani also plans to bring former Portugal defender Bruno Alves, he told ESPN.
The tournament provided excitement last summer with its use of a ‘target score’ – which is one goal more than the winning score at the end of regulation.
Ultimately, the tournament was not won by any of its European representatives but Newtown Pride FC from Connecticut.
The tournament, which takes place in Cary, North Carolina, is also launching a women’s bracket featuring eight teams.
It will run this year from June 5-10.