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Global Ambassadors & Visitors

Global Ambassadors

Aspire Academy is proud to have chosen an inspiring group of individuals as our Global Ambassadors. These sports people have achieved outstanding international sporting success and their lessons, insights and personal values are an embodiment of the personal journey that our own student-athletes are on in their quest for constant development and ultimately, for those that succeed, national and international achievement.

Xavi Hernandez, advisor of Aspire Academy and former player of FC Barcelona: "“Aspire Academy is an extraordinary place and I am happy to be part of this great project. Working with Qatar’s most talented young athletes is a great responsibility and I was thrilled to see how much effort and energy everyone at the Academy is willing to invest in order to get the best results. Besides that they teach the kids important values and that’s also quite important, because even if you have made the successful step to being a professional athlete it’s important to stay humble and respectful. Joining Aspire Academy also gave me the chance to see what coaches and athletes in other sports do in order to be successful and in the end it does not matter if you are a footballer, a squash player or a high jumper: Athletes always need to develop a winning mentality and take a professional approach to everything in order to reach their targets. From a football perspective, it is great to be involved of working with Qatar’s youth national teams and helping to build up a competitive National Team for the World Cup in 2022.”

Raul Gonzalez Blanco, former captain of Real Madrid and the Spanish National Team: "Aspire Academy is a fascinating project, one of the best institutes for juniors in the world. The combination of education and sport, an emphasis on developing the character of the players, this is unique. It’s been an amazing time for my family and me in Doha and I am very grateful for the opportunity Aspire Academy gave me here. I am sure that I will benefit a lot from the two and a half years I worked as an advisor of the Academy’s Football Department at my new club New York Cosmos, where I will assume a full-time role overseeing the academy upon my retirement from playing. I wish all students, coaches, teachers and everyone else involved with the Academy all my best for the future and I will be sure to keep in touch.”

Lionel Messi, FC Barcelona and Argentinean National Player: “I have visited many countries as a player and have seen many developmental facilities – nothing compares with what they have at the Aspire Academy. The Qatari boys are very fortunate. With these amenities at their disposal, there are good chances of them making it big in the future.”

Pele, Brazilian Football Legend (commenting on Aspire Football Dreams): “There is a reason why I believe in the Aspire Football Dreams program. I was the same age as these youngsters when I began to dream about my life as a football player. They should get the chance (to train and be educated) which was denied to me. The game has given me a lot and now, I want to give something back to the game……This project will ultimately help developing countries discover more talent and hope.”

Hicham El Guerrouj, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist (athletics, middle distance running) and Aspire Ambassador: “Children in the Middle East are deprived of sports facilities – I experienced that when I began my career. Aspire has been designed to give children a chance. I have teamed with A to do my best to encourage them to practice sport and do their utmost. Academic studies and further education are crucial in nowadays and the Aspire concept not only creates aspiring sports heroes but delivers champions in life.”

Distinguished Visitors

Aspire Academy is equally proud of the global network of partners that we collaborate with; the sporting stars of today that share our training facilities and impart their winning ways with our student-athletes; and the international leaders in sports business that are attracted to our Academy. Collectively, their profile, influence and positive impressions of what we are achieving, and striving to achieve, in the development of young athletes inspires us all on our journey of sporting excellence.

Christian Karembeu

Rafael Nadal

Lionel Messi

Shaquille O’Neal

Pep Guardiola

Carlo Ancelotti

Sir Alex Ferguson

Prince Albert Monaco

Luis Aragones

Iker Casillas

Ruud Gullit

Venus Williams

Andreas Thorkildsen

John McEnroe

Anthony Joshua

Fernando Hierro

David Beckham

Edgar Davids

Franz Beckenbauer

Frank de Boer

Andre Villas Boas

Rafael Benitez

Sergio Ramos

Kevin Keegan

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Pele

Sergey Bubka

Marcello Lippi

Martina Hingis

Björn Borg

Antonio Conte

HRH Prince Frederik

James Dasaolu

Magnus Carlsen

Mo Farah

Raphael Holzdeppe

Fatih Terim

HRH Princess Mary

Amir Khan

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