It was a gathering of football stars in Port Harcourt on Tuesday when Minister of Youth and sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare unveiled the Real Madrid Football Academy.
While commissioning the academy that combines football with education, the minister gave the assurance that the institution would not only create jobs, but produce world class future stars.
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Dare said from time immemorial, Rivers State had a reputation for producing notable sports people like the Great Jaja of Opobo, Alfred Diette Spiff, Justice Karibe Whyte, foremost viriologist Professor Tam David West as well as two Sports Ministers Alabo Graham Douglas and Tammy Danagogo.
He said “Today’s event is therefore not only epochal but special and monumental. I’m confident that the Real Madrid Academy will produce fantastic players in the mould of Paul Hamilton, Justice 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”.
Dare went on to say that even as the duo of Emmanuel Amuneke and Gbenga Okunowo had played for Real Madrid bitter rivals Barcelona, no Nigerian has played for the Galaticos.
He, however, opined that the brand new academy could change that trajectory by producing new Raul Gonzalez, Roberto Carlos, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and a host of others.”
The minister, therefore, assured the Rivers State Government of the unflinching support of the Federal Ministry of Youth and sports Development to ensure the implementation of the academy’s mandate.
It will be recalled that the Real Madrid Football Academy, Port-Harcourt was founded in 2019 by the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike having been given the Franchise to operate by the Real Madrid Foundation.