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
0

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.”


Saudi aid center KSRelief highlights humanitarian work at Chile conference

Al-Rabeeah praised KSRelief’s work in war zones and areas suffering from grave humanitarian threats, with the center having worked across 79 such regions in its history, most significantly in Yemen. (SPA)
Updated 1 min 12 sec ago
0

Saudi aid center KSRelief highlights humanitarian work at Chile conference

  • Al-Rabeeah talked about the pioneering work done by the center and its staff as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 program

RIYADH: The general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, has highlighted the work of his organization at a symposium during the Medical International Conference held in Santiago.
More than 650 senior doctors and medical practitioners from 57 countries were invited to take part in the conference
Al-Rabeeah talked about the pioneering work done by the center and its staff as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 program, and how medical advancement and humanitarian aid provision was at the forefront of the government’s plan to diversify Saudi Arabia.

He raised the example of KSRelief’s handling of multiple cases of conjoined (“Siamese”) twins over the years, and how as a result of investment and research, Saudi doctors had successfully separated 47 pairs.
He also praised KSRelief’s work in war zones and areas suffering from grave humanitarian threats, with the center having worked across 79 such regions in its history, most significantly in Yemen.
He noted that the Kingdom had undertaken a number of initiatives, including a program to rehabilitate child soldiers recruited by the Houthi militias currently fighting coalition forces in the country, and the Saudi Project for Landmine Clearance in Yemen, which has removed more than 50,000 of the devices so far.
He also highlighted plans to establish an artificial limb center to provide prosthetics for Yemenis who have lost limbs in the conflict.
He concluded his speech by stressing the importance of volunteer work and its major role in supporting the Kingdom’s humanitarian work, praising the efforts of those who sacrificed their time and resources to carry out KSRelief’s objectives.