Aspire Zone Foundation CEO Mr. Khalid Al-Sulaiteen opened the “Aspire Academy Global Summit on Football Performance and Science” in Paris on October 6 with delegates from over 50 clubs and federations in attendance.
Speaking at the opening Mr. Al-Sulaiteen said:”We welcome all football experts from over 50 clubs and national teams representing 28 countries to this unique event. It is our belief that excellence starts at an early stage and scientific support is very important to become a champion and that’s why we gathered all these people here today. As a leader in sports performance in Qatar we have developed athletes that have already left footprints in the world of sports and we encourage a modern way using the latest research and technologies to develop talents.”
Speaking during the summit, former Sampdoria player and former manager of Internazionale and Manchester City Roberto Mancini said ”Sports science is very important because the game has changed since I started. It is important for the coach to get as much information about the players as possible. “
Talking about his career Mancini said “Football has always been my life. I was surprised when a club paid me to play. I played football every day of my life with my friends on the streets. Football has given me everything. “
Ivan Bravo, Director General of Aspire Academy, welcomed the representatives from clubs and federations that are attending the summit including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Ajax, Paris Saint-Germain, FC Internazionale and teams from all around the world and stressed the great opportunity for all of them to share knowledge and benefit from each other’s experiences. “By getting together you can question yourself what you are doing, get fresh perspectives and also challenge yourself.”
During the opening day, three announcements took place as well. Aspire Zone, Qatar Football Association and Serie A made a joint announcement that the Italian Super Cup between Juventus vs. Napoli will be played in Qatar on December 22. The Italian Super Cup is a competition decided in a single match which is contested at a neutral venue between the Serie A champions and the winners of the Coppa Italia. Serie A President Mr. Maurizio Beretta said: “We are thankful for the opportunity to bring the Italian Super Cup, a high level and traditional match, to such an interesting place as Qatar.”
Furthermore, the World Sport Company used the opportunity to present the Legends World Cup – a charity competition that will be played in 32 games and bring 16 countries and 300 legends together. Under the motto “Legendary players for the less privileged” stars from the past are going to play and entertain people for a good cause. “When you are still playing, you don’t think so much about the things you are going to do after you stop playing as a professional. This tournament is a great way to give something back to the community and it’s a great chance to meet former teammates, opponents and friends again,” says former Dutch international Patrick Kluivert.
Gaizka Mendieta, former Spain international added: “Which former professional does not want to play in a great competition as a world cup for legends? It is a great opportunity for us players, but, of course, also for the fans.”
In course of the event, the “Leaders Under 40” awards, was announced by James Worrall, CEO, Leaders and Ivan Bravo, Director General of Aspire Academy. The first official Leaders Under 40 Awards will take place next year, but to kick off the project there will be a very special dinner at the world famous BAFTA’s on Wednesday, 8th October 2014 for 100 invited leaders of sport from all over the world. “Thereby we acknowledge one inspiring leader and figure who has transformed the world of sports in his lifetime,” said Ivan Bravo.
Alongside the Summit on Football Performance and Science, the ASPIRE4SPORT Congress & Exhibition 2014 was held in Paris on 6 and 7 October. The two-day exclusive event and networking session was organized by Aspire Zone and IFP Qatar Ltd.