By Farid Khan, Lahore Correspondent
Something to rejoice for Pakistani football fans, finally, and especially for the supporters of Europe’s most successful club, Real Madrid. The Real Madrid Campus Experience is set to strike the city of Lahore later this year, before settling in Karachi and Islamabad early next year. The Campus Experience will offer 5-day training to children between the age of 7 & 17 and promises to nurture young talent. The Campus Experience will start on 27th December, 2016 and will end on 31st December, 2016 at the Model Town Football Academy in Lahore.
On the launch of the event, Real Madrid Campus Experience Director Joaquin Sagues addressed the media in an event organized at Pearl Continental Hotel, Lahore. Joaquin paid heed on the importance of this event for young Pakistani players, who would not only get a chance to train with professional coaches from Spain, but will also get a feel of the training ground facilities, which are provided to players at Real Madrid.
“You get to see the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and others play on the weekends, but to get to know what they do during the weekdays, what their training regime is and how they prepare for the matches, you need to register for Real Madrid Campus Experience. This will give them the same feeling as the players do before their competitive matches. It is also a great opportunity for aspiring players in Pakistan to train with professional coaches,” he said.
On another question, Joaquin Sagues hailed the progress of Barcelona in making Real Madrid a huge club. “Rivalry is healthy and Barcelona is a great club. Their progress has always encouraged us to do well. Both clubs have utmost respect for each other and I would like to suggest Barcelona to set up a similar kind of Campus Experience in Pakistan, so that more players can get indulged into this activity.”
PFF Director Manager Club Development and Media Shahid Khokhar was also present on the occasion and vowed to help the MTFA management in organizing the event in a successful manner. “This is a great initiative and I am sure a lot of players would love to be a part of it. On behalf of the PFF, I would like to extend any kind of help which is required by MTFA in holding this Campus Experience,” he explained.
Former PSL Managing Director Salman Sarwar Butt called for more media exposure and sponsorship for this event and was adamant that an event of the kind of Indian Super League should be staged in Pakistan very soon. “It is very heartening to see the craze of football developing in our country. We need more and more funding for events like these and it is the job of our media to spread this word and this word out. We are lacking an event such as the ISL which is played in India. A football league of that standard in our country would open doors for so many young footballers,” he said.
QSports is the official rights holder and organizer of the Real Madrid Campus Experience, which intends to register at least 300 players from the country on a first come first serve basis. The event will be supervised by top officials from Real Madrid and will be ably supported by the MTFA management.