Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, has urged Nigerians to emulate Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, by building sports development projects across the country.
Praising the governor for building the Real Madrid Academy in Port Harcourt yesterday, Dare said the governor has laid a standard for football development for others to emulate.
He said the academy is worthy and long-term investment in human and capital development that will soon be the new oil well of Rivers State and huge revenue earner for the country and many families.
The minister, who inaugurated the Academy in Port Harcourt, said the project would change the age long wrong perception and narrative about Rivers and Nigeria as it produces future stars for the country and also for one of the best teams in the world Real Madrid.
“Our hope is that the Rivers Academy would produce renowned super Stars that will toe the paths of the aforementioned legends. Hence, today’s event is a milestone for the actualization of a new era. The Real Madrid Football Academy PH which was founded in 2019 after Rivers State was given the Franchise to operate by the Real Madrid Foundation has been completed in a record time with the main objective to promote the values in football as a profession.”
Also speaking on the Academy, Governor Wike said he is emotionally attached to the Real Madrid academy because of his concern to nurture the talents of teeming youths sterling football skills.
“I have gone with leaders of the state to watch matches in Madrid. But one thing that has touched me is what can we do because we have a lot of talented young boys who have potentials but there is no way to actualise them. How do we give them the opportunity to see that their dreams come true? Some people said set up skill acquisition centre. Yes, that is there. What about in terms of football. Football is no longer a recreation thing. It is now a business. So many countries make money out of football. Look at how many players Brazil sells every year. You can imagine the amount of money they make.”
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“You are aware when they sold Neymar for over two hundred and something million euros, one person. Calculate it in naira. No state government can get that money in a year. 100 million euros is about N50 million. 200 million euro is about N100 billion for one player. I know how many states in this country that cannot get N30 billion in a year. But one player is getting N100 billion. Gone are the days when people say don’t go and play football.”