Mr Sunday Dare, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, has assured Nigerians that the Real Madrid Football Academy in Port Harcourt will not only create jobs but also produce world class future stars.
Speaking at the unveiling of the academy today in the Garden City, the minister said: “From time immemorial, Rivers State had a reputation of producing notable people like the Great Jaja of Opobo, Alfred Diette Spiff, Justice Karibi White; foremost virologist, Professor Tam David West, two Sports Ministers – Alabo Graham Douglas and Tammy Danagogo. In football, Sharks which metamorphosed to Rivers United had produced world acclaimed players.
“Today’s event is therefore not only epochal, but special and monumental. I’m confident that the Real Madrid Academy Ph will produce fantastic players like Paul Hamilton, Adokiye Amaesimaka, Jossy Dombraye, Taribo West, Furo Iyenemi and Nigeria’s most capped player, Joseph Yobo. The foundation for the actualisation of this dream has been laid today.”
The Minister further said “Although two Nigerians – Emmanuel Amuneke and Gbenga Okunowo – had played for Real Madrid’s bitter rivals, Barcelona, no Nigerian has played for the Galaticos. The setting up of this institution could change that trajectory by producing new Ferenck Puskas, Santiago Bernabeur, Raul Gonzalez, Roberto Carlos, Zinedine zidane and Ronaldo.”
Mr Dare affirmed that ” Since the main objective is to promote in Rivers State and Nigeria the values inherent in football as a profession, *The Real Madrid Football Academy Ph* is an educational tool capable of contributing to the comprehensive development of our youth by creating jobs and wealth. It also in sync with our motive of combining education and sports which are inseparable”
He assured the Rivers State Government of the support of the Federal Ministry of Youth and sports Development to ensuring the implementation of the Academy’s mandate
The Real Madrid Football Academy, Ph was founded in 2019 by the Governor of Rivers State having been given the Franchise to operate by the Real Madrid Foundation.