Dubai: Dubai is all set to further scale new heights as a truly international sporting hub after the unveiling of The Football Center at Dubai Sports City, on Monday.
Launched in the presence of Saeed Hareb, General Secretary of Dubai Sports Council, Khalid Al Zarooni, President, Dubai Sports City, Fernando Sanz, President, La Liga Foundation, Gaizka Mendieta, La Liga Ambassador, Maite Ventura, Managing Director for La Liga in the Mena region and Hussein Murad, CEO, Inspiratus, the new venture promised to be a new world-class destination for football development and entertainment in the UAE and beyond.
“Since entry in the UAE in 2013, La Liga has always been on the lookout to further improve the standard of sports here. And it’s not just about football as we have youngsters who have been excelling in rugby and cricket as well here. There is no doubt that we have ample talent in the UAE and surrounding region, and all they need is the right pathway towards the future,” Hareb said in his opening comments.
Established with the basic aim of powering football while developing talent in the UAE and the region, The Football Center DSC will also become the home of Footlab — the world’s first indoor football performance and entertainment park.
Footlab will bring a whole new experience for all football enthusiasts in the region, with next-generation skill measurement and immersive activities and entertainment options for all ages.
Murad, CEO of Inspiratus, the sports management agency of La Liga Academy and La Liga HPC and CEO of The Football Center. was clear in explains what he wanted the new entity to achieve in the near future.
“It’s time to take the next step forward. We began with the La Liga Academy and then moved forward to the La Liga High Performance Centre. Today, with the start of The Football Centre we feel we are in a position to offer a better platform to our youngsters to pursue and realise their footballing dreams in the professional sphere,” he said.
“The Football Center at Dubai Sports City will be Dubai and the region’s football hub and a true centre of excellence for football, bringing together academies, high performance centres, sports science, international and local events and world-class facilities all under one roof. We look forward to welcoming the entire football community to The Football Center DSC,” he added.
The Football Center will not only be the centre of excellence for the game, but will also bring state-of-the-art sports sciences with preventive, strengthening and recovery systems for athletes including assessment and nutrition programmes at Eupepsia Wellness and Sports Science Clinic, which is scheduled to open its doors in December.
“In the near future, we want to see Dubai as a destination in all things football. The weather here during the fall and winter is very good. Some national teams have already planned to come and train with us in the near future. There are many international clubs who want to be here as well. We have great infrastructure and facilities and it won’t be long when we will have footballers from as far as Japan, China, South Korea and India who would want to use our excellent facilities here,” Murad said.
“Football is the most loved sport in the world. We want to bring the world to Dubai. We are aware things won’t exactly be easy especially during these times, but we simply love this new challenge.”
The Football Center will continue to be the home of La Liga Academy and La Liga HPC, offering young players the Spanish league’s training methodology. La Liga HPC has become the nation’s top youth team for three years’ running, the region’s best football development programme, and a scouting ground for local and international clubs.
Talented players from the age of five to 18 are discovered through La Liga Academy’s exclusive scouting programme and developed to La Liga’s professional standards at the High Performance Centre.
And now, in recognition of its consistent track record, La Liga HPC has been established as a club after being given a nod to participate in UAE Second Division League with its first team and youth teams.