Nassr's Portuguese forward #07 Cristiano Ronaldo smiles during the AFC Champions League Group E football match between Saudi's al-Nassr and Iran’s Persepolis at the Al-Awwal Stadium in Riyadh on November 27, 2023. (Photo by Fayez NURELDINE / AFP)
Al Nassr's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo clinched the Maradona Award for Best Goalscorer in the esteemed Dubai Globe Soccer Awards, to be held on Friday. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, welcomed delegates for the 18th edition of the Dubai International Sports Conference, part of the ‘Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives,’ as well as special guests for the 14th edition of the ‘Dubai Globe Soccer’ Award ceremony.’

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International football stars and decision-makers associated with the sport will gather in Dubai on Friday for the conference, being held under the theme ‘Sustainability and Performance in Football’ and the subsequent gala ceremony to honour players, coaches and directors who have come out winners across various award categories.

Ronaldo bags top award

Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo clinched the Maradona Award for Best Goalscorer in the esteemed Dubai Globe Soccer Awards. The 38-year-old striker secured the award by outperforming rivals Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane and Erling Haaland, adding this achievement to his impressive list of individual successes.

Sheikh Mansoor said: “The Dubai Sports Council launched the Dubai Sports Conference in 2006 to be a global platform for dialogue and discussions with specialists and to shine light on football at the grassroots and its prospects for the future. Decision-makers in clubs and international federations have participated in its sessions, led by Fifa and the two federations representing European and Asian football. It has provided a forum for players, coaches and management figures who reviewed the most important challenges and opportunities or launched initiatives that contributed to the development of football, shared their successful professional experiences.”

Positive impact

Sheikh Mansoor added: “The conference, as well as the Dubai Globe Soccer Award, which was launched in Dubai in 2010, have become events eagerly awaited by everyone wanting to learn more about their favourite football stars and their journeys to excellence and success. They have also helped in addressing developmental aspects of the game from the perspective of international stars with the most notable experiences. The presence of international players and officials from major federations and clubs boosts investment in football, facilitating the opening of headquarters and academies alike, thus providing more opportunities to discover, attract, and hone talent. Such gatherings also enable stars of the game to appreciate Dubai’s superior quality of life and standard of living, thus promoting investments in various spheres of work and life.”

He added: “The participation of successful players, coaches, and managers from across the world will no doubt make a positive impact with fans right here in the UAE and international fans closely following the event on their screens and digital platforms.”

The conference will start off with a session on ‘Women and Football’ on Friday morning. It will be hosted by the Dubai Press Club and feature leading women in professional football. The main session titled ‘Sustainability and Performance in Football’ will be held in the evening at the Atlantis Hotel and will be followed by the Dubai Globe Soccer Award ceremony, which will see some of the biggest names of the footballing world, including champion players and coaches who have become role models for millions, being feted.