Ronaldo leads stellar speaker cast at Dubai Sports Conference - GulfToday

Ronaldo leads stellar speaker cast at Dubai Sports Conference


Cristiano Ronaldo

Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo will be one of the key speakers at the 14th Dubai International Sports Conference, which takes place under the theme “Future Football Accelerators” at Madinat Jumeirah Conference Centre’s Joharah Ballroom on Saturday.

The Juventus and Portugal forward will join the likes of Joao Felix, one of the brightest young talents in football, Italian League stars Romelu Lukaku, Miralem Pjanic, Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs and Lucy Bronze, UEFA Women’s Player of the Year 2019.

One of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, Dubai International Sports Conference has been organised under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, every year since 2006, and today it is one of the world’s premium football forums, where the game’s top stakeholders assemble for extensive discussions on challenges facing the ever-evolving world of football.

The organising committee of the conference have also announced the participation of France’s national team manager Didier Deschamps, and Simone Inzaghi, the manager of Italian club Lazio.

The star players-turned-managers will discuss “Modern Training and Technology” in the closing session of the 14th Dubai International Sports Conference.

This year’s conference has attracted a stellar star cast as well with former Manchester United legend Edwin van der Sar headlining the opening session, where he will discuss English football’s rise to the top alongside former England manager Fabio Capello and Ferran Soriano, chief executive of Manchester City Football Club and its parent company City Football Group.

Considered one of the best goalkeepers to ever don the gloves in football, Van der Sar is the second most capped player in the Netherlands national team’s history and has played for top clubs like Ajax, Juventus and Manchester United in a celebrated professional career that spanned 21 years.

Welcoming the speakers, Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council and chairman of Dubai International Sports Conference’s Organising Committee, said: “We are delighted to announce the participation of one of the best goalkeepers to ever play the game, Edwin van der Sar.

“Now the CEO of Ajax, the club where his senior professional career started, Van Der Sar is in a unique position, with experience of both sides of the fence – as goalkeeper, which is one of the most demanding positions in the game, and as a club chief executive.

“The experience he brings and the insights he will offer at the Conference, will really enrich the discussions we are going to have on Dec.28, under the theme “Future Football Accelerators”.

“We are also delighted to welcome back Fabio Capello and Ferran Soriano, who have been two of the staunchest supporters of the Dubai International Sports Conference.

Soriano will be making his third consecutive appearance, while Capello will be attending for the ninth time.

For the first time, there will be an all-ladies session at the Conference where Englishwoman Bronze, and France captain Amandine Henry — two of the biggest stars of women’s football – will discuss the “Empowering Women in Football” alongside history-making French football referee Stephanie Frappart and Italy captain Sara Gama.

‘Futbolita’ Ash Hashim of Singapore will moderate that session.

Winner of the 2019 Golden Boy award – the award given to the best Under-21 player in the Europe – Felix is just 20 years old, but has already shattered transfer records.

Earlier this year, Atletico Madrid made the Portuguese, who is often compared to former Brazilian midfield maestro Kaka, their most expensive signing, paying Benfica €126 million for Antoine Griezmann’s replacement.

It was Benfica’s biggest transfer as well, and the second-highest amount paid for a teenager after Kylian Mbappe’s €145m move from Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain.

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