BEIRUT: Fresh from their recent Champions League defeat of Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid are now offering Lebanese youth the chance to visit Madrid and train with the stars.
Only a glance around the sports bars of Beirut is enough to see the depth of passion for Real Madrid in Lebanon, except obviously those who support Barcelona.
Those that prefer Los Merengues over Los Cules now have the chance of a lifetime to meet their heroes and train in the biggest footballing facility in the world.
The Real Madrid foundation summer experience camp aimed at boys from 9-17 years old and emphasizes the development and technical side to football training as well as the intercultural exchange between participants from other countries.
“We have a varied program of fun and innovative educational activities,” says Adnan Yassine, official representative of Fundacion Real Madrid Summer Experience in the MENA region, “Participants will learn all the Real Madrid values such as leadership, fellowship, tolerance and participation.
“We are organizing six trips in the summer starting on June 19 until July 30 in a safe and healthy environment serviced by a team of highly qualified professionals from football and educational (backgrounds).
“Our soccer coaches are all highly qualified personnel,” says Yassine, “They belong to Real Madrid Foundation and are specialists in sports training. They have been taught to play and improve the style of the participants but more importantly, teaching teamwork.”
Participants will be able to show off their skills in an internal tournament as well as individual and collective technical and tactical skill schools with work adapted to different field zones.
“This is the main aim,” says Yassine, “It’s an opportunity for every Lebanese child to experience these kind of activities. Maybe he gets this chance once in a lifetime, every Lebanese child dreams of meeting the players, see Real Madrid and the Santiago Bernabeu stadium and to have a certificate from Madrid.
“It is also the opportunity for him to be a star.
“If he plays really well, he may be picked up by one the scouts there and (could show an interest in signing them).
“They can become the next Ronaldo or Kaka”
The participants will be accommodated in double rooms at the Erasmo Residence at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. The residence has TV and DVD rooms, a study, computers games rooms as well as a gym and night surveillance.
“Food is an important part of sports and participation in the Real Madrid Foundation will increase a child’s knowledge in the area,” says Yassine, “All meals will be offered and monitored by our dieticians; and will provide relevant proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates and fats.”
Real Madrid has the largest sports facility ever built by a football club made of five pitches of natural grass, five pitches of artificial grass, the Stadium Alfredo di Stefano next to the training center, medical center with the ultimate innovations and more than 15 dressing rooms.
A participant’s usual day will consist of two training sessions; 90 minutes in the morning and 90 minutes of training or tournament play in the afternoon.
The rest of the day will be recreational and educational with activities including swimming while extra time will be put aside for communication with parents.
All participants will take the Santiago Bernabeu and Museum Tour as well as the Real Madrid City Tour.