Tale Heydarov: Hope Ronaldinho Football Academy will encourage youth for football
Baku – APA. Taleh Heydarov, President of Azerbaijan’s Qabala FC, said on Thursday that he hopes a Ronaldinho Football Academy to be inaugurated in Baku will grow the interest of the country’s young people in football.
Football legend Ronaldinho is in Baku at the invitation of Tale Heydarov.
“We have for some time planned to arrange Ronaldinho’s visit to Baku, but he was able to come only today. We are delighted with his visit to Baku,” Heydarov told a press conference dedicated to the football celebrity’s visit to Baku, APAsport reported.
The Qabala Football Academy has been operating for a few years. But the new academy will operate in Baku due to the city's reputation and other reasons,” said Heydarov. “We hope that the Ronaldinho Football Academy will grow young people’s interest in football. Ronaldinho will build the philosophy of the academy with his own team and will take personal part in its development. You may be wondering where the academy will be situated? It is not yet known. Negotiations are under way. It will become clear in the near future. We want to thank AFFA for its support for this project.”
Q. Was it hard to get Ronaldinho’s consent?
A. Ronaldinho was one of my favorite football players. There was no talk of his coming. Then we began talks. We were told that there is huge interest. We knew his academy operates in several countries. Considering the Qabala Football Academy’s care for children’s football, these talks did take place.
Q. Qabala FC is to encounter AS Saint-Étienne today. What’s your expectation?
A. I won’t be able to watch the match in France. Perhaps they will understand. It’s a very crucial game. We’re going to do our best to win. It’s going to be hard. But the footballers and the coaches promised to make the most of their skills. We’re expected them to demonstrate a good game.
Q. Do you think Ronaldinho will watch the Qarabag-PAOK match today?
A. All depends on the program.
Q. If Ronaldinho plays for Qabala, how many fans would come to the stadium? Considering this, don’t you think of transfering him to the club?
A. We expected great interest in the Brazilian legend’s visit to Baku. We hope that the children show more interest in football. As for his play for Qabala, you’d better ask him this question. Of course, it would be nice to have the football star playing in Azerbaijan.
Q. Is there any possibility of the academy to be operating in Qabala?
A. There is no need for it in Qabala. Because there's an academy there. Even though Qabala has infrastructure, it would be difficult to live there. We want it to be in Baku so that children can return to their homes after training. It's difficult for children to stay away from their families. The academy will certainly be based in Baku. We would like all of different age groups, starting from U-11, to participate in the national championship. It’s difficult to find a rival to our academy. Therefore, we would like children of the new academy to participate in the championship as a distinct club.
Q. What if the academy’s inauguration should take place in the Baku Olympic Stadium?
A. Good idea. But for this you need several pitches. Although it is difficult, we can talk about it.
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