They spent their football careers battling it out against each other in one of football’s greatest rivalries but today, Barcelona and Real Madrid legends Carles Puyol and Raúl joined together to inspire young people from a football programme in Little Havana.
Ahead of tomorrow’s pre-season El Clásico fixture between Barcelona and Real Madrid in Miami, the old rivals gained first-hand experience of the power sport can have to influence lives for the better. The Spanish greats spent time learning about the inspirational work the Laureus-supported Up2Us Sports programme is doing to help change the lives of disadvantaged youth in the region, before joining in a football session with the young people.
With the help of Laureus, Up2Us sports provides specifically trained coaches to encourage youth to be the best they can be. In Miami, Up2Us Sports have placed over 150 coaches and reached 6,800 youth. In the Little Havana area, Up2Us Sports programmes focus on academic achievement and personal responsibility as a path out of poverty.
Laureus Academy Member Raúl said “This is my second Laureus project visit in the United States and I have really been inspired today by the work these coaches are doing with the kids in Little Havana. It is through programmes like these that we see how sport can impact lives for the better.”
Both Raúl and Puyol are members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, a collection of more than 60 sports legends from around the world who all share a belief in the positive power of sport. Academy Members volunteer their time to support the work of Laureus Sport for Good, which uses the power of sport to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage, proving that sport can change the world.
“With El Clásico tomorrow, it was great to be here today with my old rival and good friend Raúl. We shared some unforgettable moments on the pitch and it is great to be here now with Laureus spending some time with these kids. I have been amazed by how they are using sport to better their lives and wish to thank all the coaches for their incredible commitment.” added Laureus Academy Member Carles Puyol.