Ronaldinho Football Academy to help develop Singapore football
Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with five-time S.League champions Tampines Rovers to set up his football academy here.
The Ronaldinho Football Academy will be the first here to be associated with a globally acclaimed name.
The MOU will be the first step in an exchange programme that will see coaches, players and officials from Brazil and Tampines coming together in a youth-development journey conceptualised and guided by the 2002 World Cup winner and two-time World Player Of The Year.
The Ronaldinho Football Academy will come under the auspices of the S.League giants, adopting the Tampines Rovers Football Academy now being run by the club for the North East Community Development Council at Greenview Secondary School.
"I decided on Singapore for all the love I have received when I was here," said the 35-year-old Brazilian, at the launch of the academy at ION Sky at ION Orchard.
"When I arrived and met with the reception that I got this afternoon, it proved I was right to start this academy here.
"We want to teach young kids to achieve a higher level of football and hopefully become world-class professionals."
International Football Group, the team behind the partnership, is a fully owned subsidiary of Eagle Ventures Group Pte Ltd, an integrated football solutions company that aims to be the next leader in sports marketing and elite coaching in Asia.
In announcing the MOU, Tampines Rovers chairman Krishna Ramachandra said: "It's a huge honour for Tampines to be associated with a world-class name like Ronaldinho. He represents world-class attitude, not just on the pitch but in everything he does.
"We can look at the way he is setting up an academy to impact a lot of youths. At Tampines, we have a similar philosophy to develop young football players.
"That's why we look outwards to have a platform for these guys to come through and also for future national team players to be developed. We're looking to provide the facilities and connectivity for this cause.
"Most importantly, we want to give something extra to these players, especially in terms of inducing creativity which is something lacking in Singapore football."
He added that the academy's philosophy will be in line with the curriculum Football Association of Singapore technical director Michel Sablon has planned to take the country's play to the next level.