While speaking to news men shortly after inspecting the ongoing construction of hostels and additional classrooms at the Real Madrid Academy in Port Harcourt on Thursday, Wike noted that players who may not make it at the Academy will continue with their education.
“We are combining education and football in Real Madrid Academy. We felt that while they are playing football, they should be educated. So that those that may not make it, will continue with their education. While those who have made it in Football, will also have a formal education. Part of the problem we have had, is that most of our footballers don’t have formal education. Sometimes, it affects them in terms of negotiation and knowing what you are supposed to do,” he said.
The Rivers state governor noted that he’s impressed with construction work so far, noting that the facility will be the best in Africa.
“I am quite impressed with the quality of structures of hostels and additional classrooms. With what we are seeing, before the next academic session, this phase will be ready. This will be the best in Africa. I don’t know any country in Africa that will have this kind of facility,” he said.
“Sports today is one of the key factors that make a nation great. It attracts foreign exchange and the rest of it. I believe that there are so many of our youths who are talented and they don’t have the opportunity to bring out their potentials. In trying to help our youths to bring out their potentials, we should do it amongst the best. Real Madrid as far as I am concerned is the best in the world. We felt that Rivers children should go for the best,”
Wike went on to appreciate the Spanish giants, Real Madrid for accepting to establish an Academy in Rivers state.
“We thank God that Real Madrid agreed to partner with us to establish an Academy here, which will make our children play in the best teams of the world. Last time, we sent our children to have a feel of the best when they went to Real Madrid. They were all happy. You saw the kind of football they exhibited when the Academy was commissioned. Football is a great thing today. When I heard that Neymar was sold for that huge amount of money, I don’t think any other profession will give you that kind of money. You can imagine the kind of talents Brazil has exported and the kind of foreign exchange they have attracted.”
He further stressed that;
“This Academy will not only serve externally, it will also beef up our local football clubs. I believe by the Grace of God . Government is a continuum. I will do my best. I will take it to the level that the world will know about it. When I leave, I believe that those who will take over the affairs of the reins of Government would continue. I cannot speak for who comes me. But I pray that the standard we have set should not come low . As I place it at the world level , I expect the person who will take over will continue to make it a world class facility.”