London, 7 October 2017. Sports industry professionals, footballing greats and representatives from the world’s largest football clubs descended on Chelsea FC’s world-famous stadium Stamford Bridge, for day two of the ASPIRE4SPORT Congress & Exhibition.
Designed to shape the future of the sports industry and spread best practice in athlete development, delegates at today’s event heard from Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson, Champions League winner Paulo Sousa, and Chelsea and Real Madrid legend, Claude Makélélé.
Speaking at the Global Summit on ‘Football Performance and Science’ which runs in parallel to the ASPIRE4SPORT Congress & Exhibition, Claude Makélélé emphasized the importance of such events in providing opportunities for people from all over the globe to learn from each other.
He said: “Football is for sharing. This Global Summit is a great idea as it presents an opportunity for a lot of people from a lot of countries to share ideas. Football is different in different countries. At this Aspire Academy event we learnt a lot about football, different people and different nationalities, so it’s a good idea.”
Paulo Sousa, who won the Champions League with Juventus in 1996 and Borussia Dortmund in 1997, also praised Aspire Academy for the great work being done to promote football in Qatar and in other countries around the world.
He said: “Congratulations to Aspire Academy not only for what they are doing for Qatar, but for the game of football. Events like this are great for football and help bring positive change, so it is an honour to share my experiences.”
Sousa also gave his support to the World Cup that will take place in Qatar in 2022, saying: “I had the privilege to visit Doha weeks ago and I saw all the efforts being put into this event. I think it will be amazing in terms infrastructure, management and capacity. The conditions of the infrastructure will be fantastic, and it will be an opportunity for the Qatari team to compete with the best countries in the world.”
During two “Star Chats” hosted by BT Sport Presenter Lynsey Hipgrave and beIN Sport presenter, Mohammed Saadon Al Kuwari, Hodgson, Makélélé and Sousa shared their perspectives on a wide range of topics with football coaches and industry professionals. Drawing on their stellar careers, the stars passed on advice based on their experiences from years working at the highest level of world football.
Discussing the challenges faced by players and managers when they move to a new country to further their career, Roy Hodgson, who has managed in Sweden, Switzerland and Italy, said: “You need to be prepared to immerse yourself in the country and attempt to learn the language. The fact that you’re trying gives people encouragement and shows that you want to be there.”
Taking place over the last two days, the ASPIRE4SPORT Congress & Exhibition is an exclusive networking session that offers European and Qatari sports industry professionals the chance to engage with key decision-makers that are shaping the landscape of the Gulf region’s sports business industry, paving the way for future partnerships.
Speaking at the networking event, Andrew Burke, Account Manager for the UK Market at STATS LLC said: “We’ve been involved before with this event. We truly value the event as a key partner in what we’re trying to do with Qatar and Aspire Academy overall.”
STATS LLC is a sports data, technology, statistics, and content company that works closely with the Qatar Stars League and the Qatar Football Federation.
Burke went on to say: “Getting access to speak to those top level people in their field is superb. We’ve had several meetings at the ASPIRE4SPORT Congress & Exhibition – there are a lot of people here who could really benefit from our services and we’re going to get equal value from them, so it’s really a win-win situation.”