Real Madrid legend Míchel Salgado treated the top 100 performers from the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 Mobile Roadshow to an incredible 'meet and greet' at Zayed Sports City Stadium on Saturday. The former Spain star followed it up with a double-header matchday that saw local team Al Jazira secure a place in the semi-finals against his former club.
Salgado spent over ten years with Real Madrid, amassing a trophy cabinet that includes four La Liga titles and two UEFA Champions league trophies, as well as accruing 53 caps for his country. Now based in Dubai, the former full-back has been acting as the football director for the Dubai Sports City Football Academy. "I am expecting Real Madrid to lift the trophy for the second time in a row, especially as they compete here on my home soil, now that I live in the UAE," he said.
Fan Village for everyone
The FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 is host to a one-of-a-kind Fan Village at both the Zayed Sports City and Hazza Bin Zayed stadia, opening three hours prior to kick-off on match days. The Fan Village consists of seven fun zones that suit all age groups, featuring football games and virtual activities. The Fan Village also gives supporters the unique chance to take selfies with their team’s respective continental trophy.
Mobile roadshow rewards top fans
The Mobile Roadshow has been touring the UAE in the lead up to the tournament and has seen thousands of participants go head to head, taking on challenges assessing everything from speed and passing accuracy, to throw-ins and e-sports. They even got to test themselves by trying to beat the scores of FIFA legends Eric Abidal, Ivan Cordoba, Mikael Silvestre, Dwight Yorke and some of Al Jazira's first-team stars.
After months of competition in the mobile roadshow, top scorers from four age group categories for boys and girls – U-10, U-12, U-14 and U-17 – attended the event hosted by Salgado. All were rewarded with a host of great prizes and the chance to test their skills alongside the Spaniard at Abu Dhabi's Zayed Sports City.
"The community engagement programme provided the ideal platform to connect with over 20,000 people across the UAE community," said His Excellency Aref Al Awani, Tournament Director of the Local Organising Committee. "We've seen a direct impact at schools and academies who were actively involved in our community-led initiatives."