Created on 2015-11-02 at 12:30 PM
For the first time in the five-year history of the Paulaner Cup, two fans from the U.S. will take part in what is one of the most unique fan experiences in the world. FC Bayern fan club Mia San Mia WPB member Daniel Cavalcanti and Fan Club of Texas chairman Justin Gardiner qualified for the Paulaner Dream Team to face FC Bayern Munich’s first team at the Continental Arena in Regensburg on November 9. Fans can tune in on FCB.tv at 12 pm on November 9 to follow the Paulaner Cup live.
What is the Paulaner Cup?
The Paulaner Cup is an annual competition in which fans from around the world get the opportunity of a lifetime and play against the FC Bayern Munich first team. Players from across Europe, China, and the U.S. were selected from a competitive pool of applicants through online contributions as well as at casting events.
Meet Justin & Daniel!
“I couldn't be more excited!” exclaimed Justin. “ I have resigned to the fact that there is probably no way to contain or match up to the players, so I might as well soak in the moment and enjoy every second I get to be play against the best footballers in the world!”
After an arduous casting process where eligible participants had to prove not only their soccer skills but their passion for FC Bayern, 30 finalists from 10 countries will make their way to Regensburg for the once in a lifetime opportunity to play against their heroes.
“I grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and as most kids in Brazil, there was nothing else I wanted to do in my life besides soccer,” said Daniel, who now coaches futsal at a high school in Florida.
Daniel entered the competition this past June along with his teammates from the FC Bayern Munich fan club Mia San Mia WPB as part of the US Fan Club Tournament in Miami, where he and his team won the Paulaner Cup Wildcard. Cavalcanti survived the competition and the 100-plus degree weather, and he captured the attention of contest judge and FC Bayern Munich legend Paul Breitner who selected Daniel as the Fan Club tournament MVP and Paulaner Wildcard winner.
Daniel reflected on the winning moment: “It took a while for what happened to actually hit me. I also felt very grateful to my teammates and how their great performances had a direct effect on how I played and led to me winning the prize as MVP.”
Justin saw a different path to the finals. He entered the competition by submitting a video to Paulaner as part of their contest. As he saw the video shared by the Munich brewery and FCB premier sponsor, his hopes ran high. Yet, when results were released, the forward did not see his name included in the team selection.
“I wasn't chosen to come to the try-outs. I was obviously disappointed at first but then I accepted my plight and decided it was for the best because I have a baby coming,” said Justin.
A month later, Paulaner came calling.
“‘Justin you might want to sit down for this. We have chosen you!’ I literally started shaking at work and had to go sit in my car and call my wife,” he continued.
This will be Justin’s second time visiting Munich. “I struggled with the decision. Though it is only a small chance, it is possible that my wife goes into labor while I am gone. I would hate to miss the birth of my son.” He continues, “My wife is very supportive and said because it is only a small chance that our baby will be born, I should go live this dream. She is amazing!”
Daniel, who visited Germany during the 2006 World Cup, looks forward to returning to Munich as a player, and playing against some big names: “As a Brazilian, I am a fan of [Thiago Alcantara’s] overall technique and style of play. It'd be an honor to share the field with him.”
Follow Justin & Daniel's journey!
To follow Daniel and Justin on their 2015 Paulaner Cup journey, stay tuned to www.fcbayernmunich.com, @FCBayernUS on Twitter and the official FC Bayern Munich Facebook page for daily video diaries, photos and more!
The 2015 Paulaner Cup will be shown live on FCB.tv - available to all - so be sure to tune in on November 9!