To power football and talent development in the UAE and the region, The Football Center was launched today at Dubai Sports City, at a press conference headed by H.E. Saeed Hareb, Secretary-General Dubai Sports Council, Khaled Al Zarooni, President, Dubai Sports City, Fernando Sanz, President, LaLiga Foundation, Gaizka Mendieta, LaLiga Ambassador, Maite Ventura, Managing Director for La Liga in MENA and Hussein Murad, CEO, Inspiratus.
Boasting one of the region’s best sports facilities, The Football Center DSC is a world-class destination for football and home to groundbreaking football development and entertainment programs.
As part of the launch, a number of new local and international programs were announced, to be hosted at The Football Center DSC.
The Football Center DSC will be the home of LaLiga Academy and LaLiga HPC, recognized as the gold standards in football training and development, offering young players the superior LaLiga training methodology. LaLiga HPC has become the nation’s top youth team for three years’ running, the region’s best football development program, and a scouting ground for local and international clubs and national teams.
In recognition of its stellar track record, LaLiga HPC has been established as a club, participating in UAE 2nd Division League with its first team and youth teams.
LaLiga HPC is also powering the development of Emirati top players at Dubai clubs under a partnership with Dubai Sports Council, whereby LaLiga is furthermore supporting the development of Emirati coaches and club management.
Speaking at the press conference, HE Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of the Dubai Sports Council said: “I am delighted to be here today to witness the launch of a new world-class football complex, which will enhance Dubai and UAE’s reputation as a global hub of sporting excellence and enhance its standing on the international stage. I am also very happy to announce the next phase in our partnership with LaLiga to develop Emirati top talents at Dubai clubs through LaLiga HPC and to empower Emirati coaches. I look forward to working together to take the UAE’s professional football development to the next level and elevate the level of football in the nation.”
To further create opportunities for youth footballers in the UAE and to continue to raise the ball on youth football, LaLiga announced the launch of the LaLiga U14 International Cup which will take place in the Spring of 2021 at The Football Center DSC. This one of a kind tournament will see LaLiga’s top youth clubs compete against their counterparts from across the globe including Dubai’s local club teams, regional teams from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and others, as well as international teams from Japan, Korea and other countries.
Fernando Sanz, President, LaLiga Foundation and Director of International Institutional Relations, LaLiga, who joined the press conference through video link said: “Through LaLiga Academy and LaLiga HPC, now at their new home at The Football Center DSC, we are bringing LaLiga’s football expertise to take athletes to their highest potential and build the next generation of football greats. We are also delighted to announce the launch of our first LaLiga U14 International Cup today, which is a new opportunity for Dubai and UAE club teams to be seen by LaLiga club and raising the bar on youth football.”
Commenting on the launch, Khalid Al Zarooni, President of Dubai Sports City, said: “I am very proud to launch The Football Center at Dubai Sports City today, a one of a kind football destination for football fans and players and we are delighted that the likes of LaLiga, the world’s strongest league, has decided to make Dubai Sports City its home for LaLiga Academy and LaLiga HPC. The Football Center reflects Dubai Sports City’s vision to create a comprehensive and integrated sporting community, offering the region’s best facilities for local and international events and programs.”
And in a first for the region, The Football Center DSC will become the home of Footlab, the world’s first indoor football performance and entertainment park, with Dubai as its only non-European location. Footlab will bring a whole new experience for all football enthusiasts in Dubai, with next-generation skill measurement and immersive activations and entertainment options for all ages.
The Football Center DSC will not only be the center of excellence for the game, but will also bring state-of-the-art sports sciences with preventative, strengthening and recovery systems for athletes including athlete assessment and nutrition programs at Eupepsia Wellness and Sports Science Clinic, which will open its doors in December 2020.
Hussein Murad, CEO of Inspiratus, the sports management agency of LaLiga Academy and LaLiga HPC and CEO of the Football Center at Dubai Sports City said: “The Football Center we are launching today at Dubai Sports City will be Dubai and the region’s football hub and a center of excellence for football, bringing together academies, high performance centers, 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.”
The Football Center will offer football fans of all ages and abilities a whole host of exciting football experiences. Alongside the academies, programs and events, football enthusiasts can play on the high quality indoor and outdoor football pitches, which are available for year-round match or tournament rentals.