Young football players eye career goals in Turkey
ANTALYA - Anadolu Agency
The young talents 16-19 of age - chosen from football academies in their native countries - hope to be selected to the youth teams of Turkey's professional football clubs after exercise scrimmages and training sessions.
Mehmet Ali Gürboğa, who is the head of an agency firm, told Anadolu Agency that young people studying in football academies in Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, Kuwait and Iraq had been invited to the sports camps organized in Antalya, Turkey.
Emphasizing the great potential in Turkey's football industry, Gürboğa said they had been hosting many football teams for years.
"Foreign teams love Turkey and Antalya a lot," he said, adding that apart from being tourism-rich, Antalya was also a city of football.
While the players show their skills and talents, the Turkish clubs may transfer these athletes at very cheap costs, he said.
Mustafa Orebe, an official from Algania Football Academy in Iraq, said their players joined camps to expand from Turkey to Europe, adding that an Iraqi player who had earlier signed a contract with a local Turkish team, currently plays in Italia's Udinese club.
Muhammad Rosdy, owner of Abro Football Academy operating in Egypt and Kuwait, said the goal of joining the camp was to make the players to play football in the youth teams of professional clubs such as Antalyaspor and Aytemiz Alanyaspor.
"We want to discover more players like Muhamed Salah and send them to Europe," he said, referring to the famous Egyptian professional football player who now plays for Premier League club Liverpool.
Ilyas Canim, 17, from Iraq, said he played in the 13-14 years age category in Germany, and 15-16 years age category in the youth team of Turkey's Galatasaray.
He said his aim was to be transferred to major European teams.
Ahmed Osman, 16, another participant from Egypt, said he preferred to join the camp in Antalya because the football industry was weak in his country.
"I would like to show my skills here and then go to Europe after entering clubs like Antalyaspor and Aytemiz Alanyaspor," Osman said, expressing dreams of being like Lionel Messi in the future.