Dubai: Former Spain and Real Madrid right back Michel Salgado was unveiled as the director of football at Dubai Sports City’s (DSC) new state-of-the-art football academy on Wednesday.
The 37-year-old, who earned 53 caps for Spain and won two Uefa Champions Leagues and four La Liga titles in a decade at Real, will oversee programmes for children aged six to 16 amid state-of-the-art facilities.
Those facilities include a full-sized indoor pitch, as well as full-sized outdoor grass and artificial pitches, all floodlit, which have already been used for training by English and Russian Premier League sides Swansea City and Anzhi Makhachkala.
Salgado, who also played for Celta Vigo, Salamanca and Blackburn Rovers in an 18-year career, will be joined by fellow coaches Inaki Beni, Carlos Garcia, Pablo Coira and Adam Griffiths.
“It’s an honour to have the opportunity to be the director of football at Dubai Sports City’s football academy and [myself and] the coaches I will be working with are really looking forward to what the future holds,” said Salgado.
“I have a top-class team of coaches alongside me and with the facilities we have to offer, both outdoor and indoor, it is hard to imagine a better setting for football to be coached and played,” he added.
“Our job now is to realise the potential of every youngster who comes to us. We will do this by developing enjoyment and competitiveness among those players through Spanish football values, values that have produced the best national and club sides in the world and which are universally admired.
“We will take care of talent through creative learning and create players and teams able to dominate while, at the same time, having fun through teamwork.”
DSC President Khalid Al Zarouni said: “To secure the services of someone of Michel’s standing within the game is a major and significant signing for Dubai Sports City.
“We have created a superb sporting infrastructure. It has involved a significant outlay but the return on that investment is seeing the people of the UAE, the region and the world — whether they be children, recreational players or elite athletes — make use of these outstanding facilities.”