The Real Madrid Football Academy, initiated and developed by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, is now set to start the grooming of international football stars, following the completion of the facility in Port Harcourt.
The President of Confederation of African Football (CAF) Ahmad Ahmad laid the foundation stone on May 28, 2018 after the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike reached agreement with officials of Real Madrid Football Club. Governor Wike and officials of Real Madrid Football Club addressed the sporting media at the Government House Port Harcourt to kick-start the development of the step to develop football.
Governor Wike had earlier cemented the construction of Real Madrid Football Academy in Port Harcourt after meeting with officials in Spain.
Today, the Real Madrid Football Academy is set for operation. All the facilities have been completed by the contractors. The coaching and other technical staff have been trained in Madrid.
Governor Wike directed the admission of all the players of Banham Model Primary School Port Harcourt into the Real Madrid Football Academy when the Academy opens later in the year. Banham Model Primary School won this year's Channels Television Kids Cup. Further admissions are ongoing.
Representative of Ministry of Sports at the Real Madrid Football Academy Project Site, Mr Allwell Braide said that the contractor has done well. He said that the football academy is ready, awaiting commissioning by the Rivers State Governor. He said that the Administrative Building, Classrooms, football training field and the basketball court have been completed.
Mr Sunday Odungweru said that the Real Madrid Football Academy will give Rivers youths the opportunity to excel. He said the institution will create the platform for football lovers in the South-South and South-East to interact for the development of the game , which will lead to the emergence of new international stars.
Head Coach of S. K E. Football Club, Port Harcourt, Mr Tunde Sanni said that the Real Madrid Football Academy will make youths to be more committed to life as they now have an avenue to become super stars and millionaires.
He said: "It is a good gesture from Governor Wike. We want him to maintain it. The very best of footballers can emerge from the Academy. Even after his time in government, we will remember him".
A football administrator, Frank Baridakara described the completion of the Real Madrid Football Academy as a dream come true for Rivers State. He said the Academy will boost sports development in Rivers State.
"Graduates from the Academy will make the state proud. They will excel in international football. This Academy will produce the likes of Ronaldo that we have been hearing about ", he said.
Chinonso Uka said that the Rivers State Governor's initiative has developed a platform for more youths to be groomed as successful professional footballers.
A player, Musa Kundi said that by building the Real Madrid Football Academy, Governor Wike has encouraged upcoming footballers to aspire to the highest level. He said that the Academy will create the avenue for Rivers youths to become International Stars.