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FIRST, it was Spanish La Liga side Real Betis who came to Zimbabwe.
Then, Italian giants Juventus announced they will be coming here this month.
Now, former European champions FC Porto, have followed suit. The Portuguese giants, who went a delegation to Harare in March for the FC Porto World Camp, have decided to open a football school in this country.
The success of the World Camp, which attracted more than 120 players, opened doors for the development of a new international school under the Dragon Force project.
The Portuguese giants announced on their website yesterday that:
“After the opening in January of the football School in Fortaleza, Brazil, the implementation of the Dragon Force International Certification at FC Beira, in Mozambique, FC Porto opens now the Dragon Force Academy in Harare, Zimbabwe, making it the third project to be implemented internationally in 2023 by Dragon Force Academy.
“The Football Academy will be located in the Alex Sports Club Facilities, which have two 11-a-side soccer fields, a gym, support rooms and a restaurant.
“All the staff of GEA Sports Zimbabwe, FC Porto’s partner in the country, will be trained according to FC Porto’s working methodology, thus allowing the implementation of the Dragon Force International Certification.
“A multidisciplinary team (in the areas of management, technical expertise, psychology, education, and nutrition) will constantly monitor all the activities.”
Ricardo Frey Ramos, a member of the Dragon Force executive board, said:
“We are very pleased with this new partnership. GEA Sports welcomed us warmly and being willing to create all the conditions for the tremendous success of the FC Porto World Camp.
“The new expansion model now allows us to respond more confidently to market interests, sharing the good practices of Dragon Force football schools, capable of adapting to any reality.
“We have been working on processes and procedures for 15 years, thinking about the training of our players and coaches in detail, anticipating the day to day, with the ambition of showing that it is possible to make a difference and develop the capabilities of all those who believe in us.”
Businessman Cobert Chimedza is the GEA Sports Zimbabwe chairman and said the Dragon Force Football School was “the best organisation to support the development of football in Zimbabwe.
“This is the first step towards sustainable growth, but with the great objective of expanding horizons.
“We believe in the training methodology of Dragon Force, based on a Club with a lot of history, knowledge and victories, and which has a differentiating pedagogical component that will help develop many players, as well as the future citizens of Africa.”
Tichaona Moleni, the general manager of GEA Sports Zimbabwe, said “this is a natural step after the professionalism shown, the innovative methodology we witnessed, and the atmosphere we felt during the seven days that Dragon Force was present in Harare.”