Dubai – MENA Herald: DUPLAYS, the leading organiser of recreational sport activities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, has revealed it will expand its regional network into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by launching the Ronaldinho Soccer Academy (RSA) at a fully air-conditioned, indoor multi-sport facility in Jeddah next year.
Spanning 10,000 square meters of indoor and outdoor sport fields, DUPLAYS will open its first fully-owned, multi-sport indoor dome in north Jeddah in Q1 of 2017.
The news follows hot-on-the-heels of Ronaldinho, the former Brazil, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain superstar, visiting Dubai last week to check out progress at his eponymous soccer academy, which runs at the DUPLAYS-managed Koora Dome in Al Wasl Sports Club, Jaddaf, Dubai.
“Taking our successful recreational league concept to Saudi Arabia was always a core pillar of our regional expansion strategy and kicking off that journey in our own multi-sport indoor facility with a product as compelling as the Ronaldinho Soccer Academy highlights that our competence and strategy has paid off,” said Ravi Bhusari, Co-founder of DUPLAYS.
“RSA combines the passion and fun of Brazilian football – played the ‘Ronaldinho way’ – and fits nicely with the ethos of the DUPLAYS mission to ‘connect communities through sport’. We believe our ‘build first, organise second’ entry strategy into the Kingdom will deliver a greater impact on the community by providing accessible, affordable sport for all,” added Bhusari.
For his part, Ronaldinho, who won the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea two league titles, a Champions League and the 2005 Ballon d’Or while at Barcelona, is expecting big things as he readies to debut his homegrown academy concept in the region’s largest country.
“Dubai has opened my eyes to the wider region and I am absolutely thrilled to be taking the Ronaldinho Soccer Academy to Jeddah, which is one of the region’s most dynamic and thriving cities,” said Ronaldinho. “Saudi Arabia is one of the traditional footballing power-houses of Asia and the talent is everywhere. We are very excited about honing the talents of the next generation of young Saudi players at our new academy.”
“In DUPLAYS, we have found a partner that gives us the right balance between managing the RSA project and developing further expansion opportunities across the region,” added the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year.
The Ronaldinho Soccer Academy (RSA) opened in Dubai earlier this year and is the first-of-its-kind in the region. More than 100 kids are mentored by qualified coaches from Ronaldinho’s youth team back in Brazil, who infuse fun, camaraderie and teamwork into the RSA football curriculum.