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Di Matteo: “Education is the foundation for a good life”

12 Jan 2015, General

Doha, 12 January 2015. For the fourth year running, German giant FC Schalke 04 has jetted out to warmer climes in Doha, to prepare at Aspire Academy for the second part of their Bundesligaseason. For coach Roberto Di Matteo, who joined Schalke in October 2014, it is the first training camp in Doha and he expressed his thoughts about Aspire Academy after touring the facilities with Director General Ivan Bravo. “I had heard a lot about Aspire before I came here, but I am truly impressed about the infrastructure and the philosophy. It is a fantastic service that they give to the children of this country, their vision is very impressive and other countries should model themselves on Aspire.” Being able to combine sports and education is something that Di Matteo, who grew up in a multilingual environment in Switzerland, fully supports. “An academic education is the most important aspect of a person because it gives you the foundation for a good life.” In terms of developing young football players he thinks that it’s important to create a positive environment. “They have to enjoy what they are doing and the age they are here is the perfect time for improvement. I also met some coaches here and they are very passionate about their work.

Overall, it’s a unique place.” Speaking about the successful step from youth to adult footballthere are a couple of things that make the difference. “In modern day football you need to be an athlete, you need to have the physical abilities, the tactical understanding, the ambition to improve and you also need to set yourself targets,” says the former Italian internationalwho coached Chelsea to the Champions League title in 2012. Asked about his goals with current club Schalke, Di Matteo replied “Winning as many games as possible and qualifying for the Champions League.”

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