Paris Saint-Germain Academy Turkey opens in Istanbul
“We would like to train European class young players. We have founded this academy in order to train footballers and increase the quality [of them]. We also place importance in development of the youth. We plan to work with 2,500 trainees in total,” Nihat Uğurlu, PSG Academy Turkey representative, said at the opening ceremony in Istanbul on Feb. 1.
Cem Kılıç, the general manager of the academy, pointed out that there are about 2 million certified footballers in France, whereas the figure is just 400,000 in Turkey.
“Most clubs in Europe allocate almost 10 percent of their income to youth development. However, the Big Three of Turkey - Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Beşiktaş - allocate only 1.5 percent of their income to youth setup,” he said.
“We will open 15 football schools in 15 locations in Turkey. We want to train sportspeople who eat healthy foods, have self-confidence and feel the team spirit. We also provide foreign language and diet courses,” he added.
Former PSG footballer Pedro Miguel Carreiro Resendes “Pauleta” also attended the ceremony.
“We want to see athletes wearing Paris Saint-Germain jerseys in 10-15 years’ time. I had a dream and realized it. I hope the sportspeople in Turkey also fulfill their dreams,” the former Portuguese player said.
Currently, the Academy has enlisted 300 trainees, according to a statement by Fabian Dilem, PSG representative in the Middle East.