The world’s biggest football tournament
for children aged 10 to 12


The Danone Nations Cup is the world’s biggest football competition for 10-12 year old. This U12s football tournament has been organised by Danone since 2000. It brings together thousands of players each year. Do you know about the origins of this competition ? Do you know the reasons that motivated the brand to create this event?Let’s have a look at the origins of the Danone Nations Cup.


The origins of Danone


Born in Thessaloniki, Isaac Carasso had always been familiar with yogurt, a traditional street food in his hometown and throughout the Balkans. Upon settling in Barcelona in 1916, he grew concerned for the city’s children – including his own son Daniel – who often suffered from intestinal ailments due to poor hygiene. A highly curious and passionate man, Isaac dove into making yogurt, convinced of cultured milk products’ ability to strengthen the children’s regularity and bacterial flora. On the great journey from Isaac Carasso’s first porcelain jars to this day, one thing remains unscathed: the conviction that Danone can contribute to good health through simple, natural and tasty food !


The origins of the Danone Nations Cup


It was during France’s victory at the 1998 World Cup, that Franck Riboud, CEO of Danone Group, came up with the idea of organising the Danone Nations Cup:

“The idea came to me at the end of the 98 World Cup. I wanted to create an international event that millions of children dreamed about and that reflects who we are.”


The first U12s football tournament had a total of 8 participating teams. Since its creation, the event has grown and now brings together about thirty teams, both girls’ teams and boys’ teams, coming from all over the world. The matches are followed by thousands of spectators and are relayed by media all around the world.


Why create the Danone Nations Cup ?


Emmanuel Faber, Danone’s CEO aswers to this question:

“The Danone Nations Cup was born in 2000 out of a vision by Franck Riboud, currently honorary chairman of the board of Danone. He dreamed that Danone could create a football tournament for kids aged 10-12, at a global scale, to celebrate sportsmanship and values like excellence, respect and fair play. Young talents from many countries could come together to play, discover new cultures and make new friends. They would also learn about the importance of healthy food and an active lifestyle, and the dream came true…”


The Danone Nations Cup reflects Danone’s DNA : the belief that the health of people and that of the planet are interconnected.


The long term impact of the Danone Nations Cup in the eyes of the communities


Beyond an international tournament, the DNC is a lifetime experience, transforming players into world citizens, which promotes: water access, a healthy lifestyle, inclusion and diversity as well as a responsible event.


1. Access to safe drinking water : our commitment with Watering minds

The Danone Nations Cup partners with Watering Minds to act for water access for children.

In 2019 several actions were put in place to raise funds :
1. crowdfunding campaign
2. #LacesForChange initiative (sale of social laces)
3. actions during the World Final (a golden bar, a charity match etc.)

Through these numerous actions we have raised € 100,000 and impacted the lives of 30,000 children.

2. A healthy lifestyle

On each step of the competition, regional, national and world final, the DNC aims at educating children on healthier eating and drinking habits and on the importance of a balanced diet through numerus workshops : nutrition awareness sessions, meetings with nutritionist and educative game.

3. Inclusion and Diversity Values

The DNC promotes inclusivity, diversity, openness, and changing mentalities when it comes to gender equality. In 2017 an all girl tournament was created and keeps on growing every year.

4. A Responsible Event

By raising children’s awareness on sustainability issues and by recycling or reusing 100% of the plastic used during the local and world competition the DNC is committed to a better future.
Recycling is one of the different themes tackled with our apprentice footballers. The objective is to encourage them to be major operator in the protection of our planet.

The Danone Nations Cup has a unique legacy as a football competition which left a mark in the life of thousands of children. The DNC is likely a platform of sustainable development that impacts nations around the world.