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Brazil’s Ronaldinho Has Plans To Bring a Football Academy to Saudi Arabia


This week, while at the third edition of the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh, Brazil’s football legend Ronaldinho announced plans to open a Saudi Arabian football academy in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. The footballer spoke to Arab News backstage, telling the site that the date for the academy opening would be sometime in 2019.

“First of all, I want to say thank you for a warm reception and kindness which I have received from the Saudi people […] As for the kids, those who want to be a player someday, dedicate as much as you can and follow your dreams,” said the renowned soccer player.

Prior to speaking to the news site, Ronaldinho was greeted by a sea of cheers as he took the stage at the end of the day’s sessions, to give a talk entitled “The Discipline – and Fun – of Teamwork.” While speaking to the audience at the Misk Forum event, he shared some words of advice, saying, “Prepare yourself and help your colleague or team member […] Humility is important. Try to stay humble.”

During the talk, he also touched on his career with European clubs Paris St-Germain, Barcelona, and AC Milan, as well as his World Cup win in 2002 with the Brazilian national team, saying, “I was lucky enough to be on a team with stars […] We all respected each other […] For me it was wonderful, because my history with this team and players was a beautiful one: To idolize them and later play with them and later win titles again…”

The 38-year-old football star already has an academy in the Middle East: Ronaldinho Soccer Academy (RSA), which is located in Al Jaddaf, Dubai. The school is set in the air-conditioned dome at the state-of-the-art Koora Dome football facility located at Al Wasl Sports Club, providing members access to fully certified coaches who have been trained by Ronaldinho's youth football program. 

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