La Liga wants to produce “a future Salah or 2”.
La Liga hasn't always been the most popular destination for Egyptian players, but there's a good chance that this is about to change, with the top-flight Spanish football league opening its first football academy in Egypt, according to Business Standard.
The academy, which has been running for just one week, has already enrolled 75 students as it aims to bring Egyptian talent to Spanish football clubs.
“Egypt is a big country, with a passion for soccer," said director general of La Liga in the Middle East Fernando Sanz to EFE. "That’s why we’ve opened an academy here, in order to give young people the tools they need to play in the Spanish league.”
Sanz, a former Real Madrid and Malaga player, also pointed to Egyptian football fans’ admiration for La Liga club football, claiming that it’s “the most followed” football league in Egypt.
Located in the suburb of New Cairo, the academy aims to teach Egyptian football players the unique Spanish style of play, which depends on possession, movement and short passes - a style often referred to as tiki-taka and made famous by Barcelona and the World Cup and European Championship winning Spanish national team.
This is not the first time that La Liga has taken an interest in Egyptian grassroots football. Speaking to Egypt Today in April, Juan Fuentes Fernandez, La Liga Global Network’s delegate in Egypt opened up about the various other links establishes.
“With Pepsi, we launched Pepsi Stars, a massive scouting process to detect talent in Egypt; we took 24 Egyptian kids to Spain to train and play with top-tier football clubs. Secondly, we do have a local sponsor in Egypt, Orange, and we work together with Sela Sports, who are helping us to find further commercial collaborations.”
This is in addition to Spanish giants, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, already having established their own academies in Egypt.
Main image from footballimpact.com