Man City's Brazil international Sylvinho at the Etihad Abu Dhabi soccer school - Manchester City FC

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Season 2009/10

Sylvinho hails Abu Dhabi soccer schools

  • 09 April 2010 11:00
  • Posted by Chris Bailey

Etihad’s first Manchester City soccer school in Abu Dhabi proved a huge success with the youngsters and the players.

Brazilian international and Champions League winner Sylvinho and England under 21 star Michael Johnson travelled out to the Emirate this week to help with the coaching.

Around 400 local school children aged between 7 and 14 attended the sessions which were manned by five Blues coaches and club Ambassador Mike Summerbee. The schools are set to become an annual event.

Sylvinho believes that Abu Dhabi could eventually produce players who can hold their own in Europe’s top leagues.

 “It was the second time I have been out to Abu Dhabi now and the second time I have had chance to take part in the soccer schools,” he declared.

 “I showed them a few tricks and gave them some advice. I told them to always enjoy football. It is a great feeling for me now to be able to pass on things that I have learned during my career in the same way people gave me advice when I was young.

“People here in Abu Dhabi love football, not just watching the game but playing as well. English football is very popular; you can see that wherever you go.

We feel very welcome and special when we visit here. They know us like people in Manchester do


 “It is great that the club and Etihad can get together and organise an event like this. I think everyone benefits. The relationship between Manchester City and Abu Dhabi is very important and this is a great chance to meet the local people, the local children and understand more about them.

“UAE football is getting better and better all the time, we saw that in November when we played a game here.  At junior levels the UAE is competitive in competitions and as those sides mature they will become a force.

“The best way to make sure that growth continues is to get youngsters involved as early as possible and give them the best coaching possible.”


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