Football’s Next Star

BY Jamie Trecker • April 1, 2011

Seven thousand have entered. Only one will win.

Over the next seven weeks, Inter Milan's technical director Marco Monti will put the ten remaining finalists through a series of professional trials that give fans a bird's-eye view inside one of the planet's top clubs. Each week, one player will be sent away from the club's sprawling, $15m training facility on Lake Como which has been responsible for turning out some of the world's greatest players.

The show will make its bow on the same weekend that Inter Milan plays its bitterest rivals, AC Milan, live Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer.

"Football's Next Star is compelling TV," said FOX Soccer Vice President, Acquisitions & Programming Joshua Glassel. "It does a wonderful job of providing a behind the scenes glimpse at the tension, frustration and joy experienced by the young soccer hopefuls training and competing for a job with one of the game's iconic clubs."

The show, already a smash success in Europe, will return for a second season with players picked from across the globe, including American hopefuls selected during open tryouts.

Filmed during Inter Milan's Champions League-winning season, the ten finalists were also personally coached by then-manager Jose Mourinho, now with Real Madrid.

Said host Jamie Redknapp, a former professional with Liverpool and Tottenham, "Marco has played at the top level and he knows what it takes to play the game in Serie A. It's different, the culture, the defending, how they play the matches. It's very tactical, probably even more tactical than the Premier League."

Under Monti, the players and fans alike will find out just how grueling top-level training truly is. Competing in 90º heat against some of the top youth players in the world, the club's intense focus on technical quality separated the men from the boys in a hurry.

The winner of the show, set to be revealed in seven weeks, remains on Inter's roster today. In fact, of the ten finalists, seven would go on to receive professional contracts, and two of the finalists now play for their national team’s programs.

Jamie Trecker is a senior writer for FoxSoccer.com covering the UEFA Champions League and the Barclay's Premier League.


share story