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Ronaldinho opens soccer academy in Israel

Ronaldinho in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Ronaldinho in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Brazilian soccer idol Ronaldinho has launched a soccer school in Israel aimed at both native-born and immigrant children and youths.

Ronaldinho, who was in Israel last month, on April 26 announced the establishment of the Ronaldinho Soccer Academy for children ages six to 16. The goal is to combine the passion and fun of Brazilian soccer with a strong teaching methodology and friendship values.

The school will launch in the summer as a camp for some 100 youths before opening in September.

“I am very excited to help Israeli children of all faiths raise their game to the highest levels,” Ronaldinho said. “I see the school as a first-class educational tool that helps in acquiring skills, tools for life, discipline, teamwork and more. Israel has a tremendous potential, countless talents and a great love for the game.”

The Christian athlete recently affiliated himself with an evangelical political party in Brazil, so opening a school in the Holy Land is a special excitement.

The project was established in cooperation with the Beitar Nordia Jerusalem soccer team along with local partners.

“Our mission is to bring new values to Israeli children and make the sport they are passionate about collaborate in their upbringing, promoting well-being, health, compliance and social engagement,” said Mauro Rozenszajn, the Brazilian-born CEO of the new academy.

Ronaldinho, 38, had a full agenda while in Israel. He visited the Beitar Nordia facilities, participated in a match with Israeli players and visited Raanana, the city with the largest Brazilian community in the country, where he broadcast a table soccer game on Instagram.

The Israeli academy is Ronaldinho Soccer Academy’s 10th global unit, following branches in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Korea, India, Azerbaijan and the US.

Ronaldinho is often considered one of the greatest players of his generation and regarded by many as one of the greatest of all time.

Throughout his playing career, he accumulated numerous honors, including the FIFA World Player of the Year award twice and a Ballon d’Or. Ronaldinho played 97 matches for the Brazil national team, scoring 33 goals and representing his country in two FIFA World Cups.


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