Ronaldinho plans Saudi Arabia football academy in Jeddah

Ronaldinho speaking at the Misk Global Forum on Wednesday. (Basheer Saleh/Arab News )
Updated 16 November 2018

Ronaldinho plans Saudi Arabia football academy in Jeddah

  • Backstage at Misk Global Forum, Brazilian football legend reveals intention to open school some time next year
  • Player offered advice for audience, speaking about the value of teamwork, learning from failure and the rewards of giving back

RIYADH: Ronaldinho plans to open a football academy in Jeddah some time next year, the Brazilian football legend revealed to Arab News backstage in an exclusive interview after his appearance at the Misk Global Forum on Wednesday.

“First of all, I want to say thank you for a warm reception and kindness which I have received from the Saudi people,” he told Arab News. “As for the kids, those who want to be a player some day, dedicate as much as you can and follow your dreams.”

Earlier, Ronaldinho appeared on stage to a chorus of cheers at the end of the day’s sessions, where he gave a talk titled the Discipline – and Fun – of Teamwork. 

”I was lucky enough to be on a team with stars,” he said of his career with European clubs Paris St-Germain, Barcelona and AC Milan, and a World Cup win in 2002 with the Brazilian national team. “We all respected each other.

“For me it was wonderful, because my history with this team and players was a beautiful one: To idolize them and later play with them and later win titles again…”

IN PICTURES: View the Third annual Misk Global Forum in Riyadh photo gallery

Ronaldinho said he feels grateful for his God-given talent. “Throughout my career we had a plan, and I always worked hard. God gave me the privilege to play football. It was fun, not a sacrifice.”

“I’ve always liked to have a ball around me, to have contact with the ball.”

His advice for the audience? “Prepare yourself and help your colleague or team member,” he said. “Humility is important. Try to stay humble.”

He also said to train hard, read as much as you can and don’t fear failure. “I failed a lot of times,” he said. “Football is like that. You can’t always win. You have to seek lessons from the defeats and not lose hope.” 

Now that he’s retired, Ronaldinho is more concerned with giving back. “After I stopped playing, I have soccer academies. That’s what I’m proud of, and it has given me pleasure. To give something back (as a)  thanks to football and everything it have given me.”

Where We Are Going Today: Red Chilli in Riyadh

Updated 6 min 11 sec ago

Where We Are Going Today: Red Chilli in Riyadh

  • Red Chilli combines authentic Indian tastes with appealing ambiance and friendly service.

A sumptuous evening meal at a first-rate restaurant is always welcome, but especially after a day of fasting. If you have a taste for Indian cuisine, Red Chilli in Riyadh is well worth a visit.

It combines authentic Indian tastes with appealing ambiance and friendly service. Whether you are looking for a fine-dining experience or a more casual meal, the venue is perfect, offering Indian and continental cuisines and sweets in a warm, inviting environment.

Located on Khurais Road, this is the restaurant’s second site in the capital. The opulent interior, with marble mosaic floor tiles and stylish lighting, celebrates this new chapter. It can seat 300 people but retains a cozy, comfortable atmosphere.

But what about the menu? Starters include a range of Indian soups, including a special seafood offering, asparagus and broccoli, and yakhni shorba. Alternatively, the fruit chaat is a delectable dish of the kind popular on the streets of Delhi.

Main course options include all the traditional curries you might expect plus some more unusual options, such as chicken malai tikka, Afghani chicken and chicken BBQ platter. There are also plenty of vegetarian choices.

With such a wide range of options, along with wonderful ambiance and great service, Red Chilli will keep you coming back for more.