AC Milan Plants Seeds in Dubai with New Football Academy

AC Milan has announced the launch of a brand new AC Milan International Academy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This move signifies a significant step forward in the club's global expansion strategy, spearheaded by ownership group RedBird Capital Partners.

The academy, established in collaboration with local sports development startup Ball Beast Academy, will prioritize youth development and cultivate future generations of footballing talent. The official launch ceremony was hosted by the Dubai Sports Council, a government body dedicated to promoting sports within the Emirate.

This new venture represents a deeper commitment to the Middle East region for AC Milan. The opening follows the establishment of Casa Milan Dubai, the club's regional headquarters, in November 2023, and a previous partnership with Expo 2020.

AC Milan boasts a strong presence in the region already. Their longest-running academy, opened 15 years ago in Kuwait, has nurtured over 5, 000 young athletes. Leveraging this experience, the new Dubai academy aims to foster a healthy and competitive sports environment that reflects the principles of the "Milan Method, " the club's unique training philosophy.

The passion for AC Milan in the Middle East is undeniable. They are the most-supported Italian club in the entire region and rank among the top 10 most popular teams globally, boasting an estimated 2. 5 million fans in the UAE alone.

This fervent support is further bolstered by key partnerships in the region. Emirates, SIRO, and most notably, CFI Financial Group, the Rossoneri's Global Partner, will actively participate in this new initiative. CFI's logo will be prominently displayed on the backs of all the young footballers' jerseys, symbolizing their commitment to the players' personal and athletic growth.

"The inauguration of a new academy in Dubai further underscores our ambition to strengthen ties with the Middle East, a strategic region brimming with passion for our colors and millions of loyal fans, " stated Maikel Oettle, AC Milan's Chief Commercial Officer. "We aim to share the Milan model and invest in the development of young talent, both on and off the field, with the goal of making a positive impact on the local communities and solidifying our international presence. "

This sentiment was echoed by Hisham Mansour, Co-Founder and Managing Director of CFI: "Partnering with AC Milan at the launch of their Dubai-based academy is a thrilling opportunity that extends our global reach as the Official Online Trading Partner. With our headquarters in Dubai, this initiative holds immense significance for us at CFI. We are eager to contribute to society through this project and hope it will unearth regional football stars. We look forward to witnessing its long-term impact. "

Hassan Almeddine, General Manager of Ball Beast Academy, expressed similar enthusiasm: "We are thrilled to announce the launch of the Milan Academy in Dubai, a pivotal step in our mission to nurture and elevate football talent in the UAE. Our academy is committed to instilling values of teamwork, discipline, and sportsmanship, which are fundamental for personal and athletic growth. We aim to discover and develop the next generation of football stars, with special programs dedicated to girls in football and people of determination, by fostering a strong community and providing world-class training. "

This new academy seamlessly integrates with AC Milan's existing network of over 100 Rossoneri academies across Italy and internationally. During the 2023/24 season, these academies offered programs led by approximately 2, 500 AC Milan coaches, engaging over 20, 000 aspiring footballers from three continents.

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