Rivers Sports Commissioner, Boma Iyaye, has tipped the Real Madrid Football Academy based in Port Harcourt to produce a future generation of football superstars comparable to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The commissioner, who said the academy is comparable to any in the world in terms of facilities, content, curriculum, and product, said he sees future Lionel Messis and Cristiano Ronaldos coming out of the academy. He added that even with a formal request for admission yet to be advertised, over 1,000 applications have been sent to the academy to underscore acceptance amongst Rivers people and Nigerians at large.
Speaking when he visited the Academy ahead of official resumption, on his way to the Rivers United, Iyaye expressed satisfaction with the quality and pace of work so far; pointing that he was short of words as to how to thank Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, for such initiative and commitment to deliver a world-class facility for the future generation.
Iyaye, who also inspected the progress of work on the football pitches of the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in the company of his Permanent Secretary, Honour Sirawoo, and members of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) in Rivers State, said, “I never thought it would be this huge when we started this project. I am really short of words to thank the governor, he has made sure that funds are provided for this iconic project and I am sure that our indigenes would be proud of this Football Academy.
“You have seen the hostels, the classrooms, and all other facilities being put in place, this is a great legacy and we thank the governor for what he has done. If some of us had this opportunity, perhaps we would have done great in football.”
Iyaye revealed that the academy is a hundred percent owned by the Rivers State government and is the first Real Madrid Football Academy franchise in Africa with a focus on academics and football development.
Earlier, the Special Adviser to the Rivers State Governor on the Real Madrid Football Academy, Chris Green, had taken the Commissioner, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Sir Honour Sirawoo, and sports journalists around the facility.
Green noted that the methodology of the academy would be comparable to the best in the world, adding that the dream and vision being bequeathed to Rivers youth would secure their future.
“This academy will provide for the future of our youths, bring them out of the wood, create jobs and wealth for a vast majority of them. This will be a place for serious business, where the students would be given the best of content,” he said.