A glittering array of football legends took the positive message of the beautiful game to the Chinese youth as part of the Laureus Shanghai Football Campus Tour on the eve of the Laureus World Sports Awards.
Fabio Capello, Ruud Gullit, Carles Puyol, Louis Saha and Sun Wen all took part in a football project at Datong Middle School, supported by the Shanghai Municipal Government and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
The global stars inspired 400 high school students from the Shanghai School Football League (SSFL) and held a special on-field clinic with 60 student footballers as part of the goal of encouraging Chinese teenagers to become more active and participate in football.
“Football has given all of us so much to be thankful for, and it’s an honour to give something back through Laureus and hopefully inspire the next generation,” said Laureus Ambassador and current Russian national team coach Capello.
Founded in January 2012, the Shanghai School Football League (SSFL) has a vision to enhance the development of football in Shanghai and grow the number of youth footballers. The SSFL is governed by the Shanghai Municipal Education Committee, led by the Shanghai Municipal Sports Bureau, and consists of various organisations, schools and government departments all committed to the development of football amongst the youth. The SSFL currently includes 17 universities, 29 high schools, 91 middle schools, 133 primary schools, and 280 organisations from 16 districts. Up to 10 000 footballers fall under the SSFL, and the organisation hosts 2 000 matches annually during its nine-month season.