The Spanish Football League is one of the strongest football competitions in the world. The league is one of the most watched and highest rated sports events in the world, especially the world’s strongest derby “Classico” between Barcelona and Real Madrid. It’s been a long lasting dream for young Egyptian footballers to one day play for La Liga and become it’s next big star.
This is why SEE decided to interview La Liga ambassador in Egypt Juan Fuentes Fernades concerning the opening of the new La Liga schools in Egypt, as concerned bodies discussed the way they could apply for them, the memberships fees, in addition the perks of joining this great academy that could one day breed the new Egyptian Messi.
1. How many LaLiga based football schools are located in Egypt?
There is one LaLiga Academy in Egypt which is open to players aged 4-18. LaLiga Academy Egypt began training boys and girls in September 2018 at its flagship branch in Cairo at the American International School in The Fifth Settlement. The Academy is the only official youth academy of the Spanish League. As such, LaLiga itself provides UEFA Pro certified Spanish coaches that create and deliver training curriculum with the help of local Egyptian coaches. They also work with the coaches to develop their coaching skills in line with LaLiga criteria
2.Where are these schools located?
At the moment, LaLiga Academy is focusing on Cairo. The academy launched in ‘Tagamo’ at the prestigious American International School with its full-sized grass pitch providing players excellent training and top of the line facilities. In response to a growing demand in the area, the Academy opened its second location in January 2019 at ‘Nadi El Tayaran’ in ‘Tagamo’ and has quickly reached capacity at this location within 2 months.
3.How do you get a license to open these schools?
We always welcome the most professional and experienced partners who understand our organization, mission and objectives with the Academies. In Egypt and the UAE, we work with Inspiratus Consulting Ltd, a sports management company with over a decade of experience working with youth on the ground in the region.
We started in the UAE in 2015 where we now have 987 players in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In Egypt 151 players trained at our academy during its first year.
4.How much does applying for a membership for these schools cost?
Our objective is to make it affordable as possible with different payment options catering for everyone’s needs. and we cater to different payment options. All our prices can be found online at https://eg.laligacademy.com/
5.Are these schools currently supervised by any great LaLiga player past or present?
All LaLiga Academies in Egypt and the UAE are supervised by a UEFA Pro head coach and a team of UEFA pro certified coaches. The academies are ultimately supervised by former Real Madrid player Mr. Fernando Sanz who is the director of LaLiga Legends and Director of International Institutional Relations. On the ground, living in Cairo we have a UEFA Pro Certified coach who keeps track of all the players and makes sure that all coaching is delivered at LaLiga standards.
When our ambassadors are in the country, we make sure our players get to meet them. Last June LaLiga Academy players met Etoo, Morientes and Fernando Sanz which was a once in a lifetime opportunity for them. The kids found it to be extremely motivational and inspirational.
6.What’s the aim of opening these schools in Egypt?
Egypt has a wealth of talent with lots of young people who could play at the highest levels professionally if they are developed from a young age. The idea is to transfer LaLiga’s know-how to players and coaches in Egypt and to give players in Egypt the chance to play at a very high level.
7.Can a player who currently plays for these clubs play in LaLiga one day?
There are many Egyptians players playing in Europe but none in Spain now. We want Egyptian players to develop their talent in Spain and to play at the best clubs in the world.
LaLiga Academy is a scouting academy meaning our coaches are always on the lookout for the most talented, trainable players with the right attitude and drive. Players who are identified and placed on a professional development track are invited to attend the annual Spain Summer Scouting Camp for 3 weeks free of charge where they play friendly matches against top LaLiga youth clubs in front of LaLiga Scouts. Here they interact and compete against players their age who have a professional mindset. Players deemed good enough are invited to attend further club trials with the hope of being offered a place on a professional team in Spain or for their own national clubs or teams. From the UAE, for example,26 players have already been asked for trials at clubs after attending summer training in Spain and 8 have been offered places on the national teams. We know players from Egypt have the skill level to achieve their highest potential.
8.Do you have plans to open more schools in the future? If so which LaLiga clubs will localize in Egypt?
LaLiga Academy is always looking to expand in locations with the best facilities that will offer players and families the optimum experience.
9.Does LaLiga, one day, plan to open a big sports complex in Egypt rather than small club- based franchises?
We are always open to listen to new ideas from our current and new partners.
10. Have the laws of opening these clubs in Egypt been fluid or did you face any problems?
One of the many advantages to partner with local organizations such as Inspiratus is that they manage all these crucial aspects of the implementation of the projects.
11. Approximately how many players have memberships in these clubs?
Having been operational for only 10 months, LaLiga Academy Egypt has over 150 players enrolled and are expecting to double this number in the months to come.