Luis Figo Football Academy in South Sudan

Posted March 6th, 2013 at 2:33 pm (UTC-4)

Luis Figo
Photo: Reuters

Here’s a Sonny Side of Sports salute for Luis Figo, the former Portuguese soccer star who says he’s planning to open a football academy in South Sudan, Africa’s newest country. At a news conference in the capital, Juba, the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year said the academy will focus on education as much as football.

“We are in the first steps,” says Figo, “but for me it’s always very important to conciliate the football and the education. Because you never know if you’re going to be a professional football player or not. If you don’t study, you don’t deserve to play.”

Star Petroleum, an international oil company that operates in South Sudan, is helping finance the academy. Company officials say children age 10 and younger will be trained in South Sudan, while older players will be eligible for scholarships abroad, including Spain. As part of the initiative, they say South Sudanese coaches will also receive scholarships for training.

Luis Figo celebrates a goal for Inter Milan in 2007.
Photo: Reuters

The planned Luis Figo Football Academy is getting an enthusiastic response from Sonny Side of Sports Facebook fans in Africa.

Luis Figo and Ghanaian teammate Sulley Muntari at an Inter Milan match in 2009.
Photo: Reuters

Musa Fab Lib Bangura, writing from Freetown, Sierra Leone, says, “Luis Figo, God will definitely bless you for having such a great idea.” And Pitso Nelson Makhanya, writing from Mafeteng, Lesotho, says, “that’s great news for Figo, South Sudan and the African football family.”

Luis Figo retired from football in 2009. He made 127 appearances for Portugal’s national football team, making him the most capped Portuguese player in history.

At the club level, the 40-year-old Figo played for Sporting CP in Portugal, Inter Milan in Italy, and Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain.

The attacking midfielder is also remembered for his spectacular goals. Figo scored 32 goals for Portugal and 91 total for his four European clubs.


Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

14 responses to “Luis Figo Football Academy in South Sudan”

  1. Ashenafi Abedje says:

    Great blog, Sonnyman. How about voicing and airing it on South Sudan in Focus. It couldn’t be more targeted!

  2. Joseph M Basher says:

    That is an absolute Idea Luis Figo. Having you down there in South Sudan will be like having the Football Jesus!!!!!

  3. Ik says:

    Figo7 is a rear Gem. Giving back to society. Jah bless you man

  4. That is a very good idea by Figo.To me Education is very important and is priceless.

  5. Dut Daniel says:

    I would like to thank figo for a wonderful great job in south sudan.thank u figo

  6. Dut says:

    That was great and i would like to say that i will not miss to join figo even if what i won’t

  7. tade says:

    Thank you FIGO this is a great chance for Africa not only for south Sudan

  8. abdel wahid opeyemi says:

    this is a great idea from Luis Figo who seems to be my mentor but i wish it could also happen to all professional footballers to immitate this idea and may jod bless you and me as well… I wish to join very soon

  9. Deng Mayol Anguei says:

    Thank you very much Luis for your contribution to sports and education in our country, I pray that our children utilize the chance.

  10. We respect this type of job most in africa, its so appreciated for those that knows what are the benefit of such job.

    Figo was a great player in is time and the whole world knows about him and now he is impacting what he has learn and gain from the world of football..

    When are we going to have some one like him to come to the Gambia in west africa, because we need such a personaly to help the young generation that growing up.

    We need to take them from the street and other ilegal activities such as drugs etc.

    Bravo Mr Figo you are a European but have the heart of a real african that comes to help the less previledge.

  11. I love the concept, I and wish figo, nothing but success in his new endeavor. As one of his fans and a lover of the round leather game, I hereby pledge my support in prayer, kind and others means to see the success of this dreams. Just last Saturday I unveiled young talents at my academy. Football has come an aged, a big and real business that is more than playing on the street. And we must use it to spread the message of Love, Tolerance and Peace. That is what our mother Earth needs now and its begins with you. This is our time.

  12. I thank you so much ,Mr.Luis for having thought of such a marvelous idea ,it’s only the almighty who knows wht is in the heart of great people ,you choose to come and give out your knowledge in Africa rather than Europe,this shows to that you hav a heart of loving all the man kind ,may God lead you in your decision ,you will be remembered like the great missionary,Dr. David Livingstone.

  13. This what we need in Africa and for the love of football Figo has done great things in the world of football and we are so happy having him doing a wonderful thing in our beloved continent of Africa.

    Football brings people together for better.. Thanks Man and great work

  14. Bona marine says:

    figo that’s a nice job if you bring a football accedmy to us here in juba ss. am willing to join if you bring it

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Sonny Side of Sports is an energetic and action-packed look at both world and African sports, broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet. Since the show’s creation in 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

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