By Staff writer
"Being in Abu Dhabi gives us a chance to come to a beautiful country, with a different climate"
As hundreds of young footballers’ head to the capital for a youth football extravaganza, Manchester City FC manager Pep Guardiola has spoken of what it was like to bring his team of star names to train in the city.
This weekend will see more than 800 players from across the Middle East head to Zayed Sports City, for the first Manchester City FC Abu Dhabi Cup. The competition will feature youth football matches as well as free fun filled family activities and competitions for anyone to enjoy.
It comes after Pep brought the Manchester City team to Emirates Palace for warm weather training, meeting fans and youth players of all ages during their stay.
“The trip [to Abu Dhabi] gave us a chance to get away and do things a little differently," he said. "Being in Abu Dhabi gives us a chance to come to a beautiful country, with a different climate to the one we’re used to - it freshens things up for all of us.”
“The facilities out here in Abu Dhabi are outstanding. To have everything on one site in this way is invaluable and the hotel is of the very highest standard. The staff have embraced my team and all those who work for the club throughout our stay. That is a huge plus to help us in making the trip as seamless as possible and we are incredibly grateful for all their efforts.”
The inaugural Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup 2017, which is supported by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and Etihad Airways, has seen many teams from the UAE, Oman and Bahrain register to take part and is open to Under 10, 12, 14 and 16 sides.
Speaking on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Hamdan bin Saeed Al Nahyan said: “In addition to hosting world-class events and developing world-class infrastructure to showcase the Emirate as a tourist destination in its own right, we are working on positioning the Emirate as a leading international sporting destination along with Abu Dhabi Sports Council and our valued stakeholders.”
“We will focus on building Abu Dhabi’s reputation as a world-class destination for winter training and off-season competition; attracting spectators and encourage participation to welcome record numbers of guest arrivals into Abu Dhabi.”
“Our commitment and aims are closely aligned to the framework our leadership has laid down to creating a healthy, inclusive society, for which sports has an integral role to play. Moving forward we are looking increasingly to partner with local, regional and international associations and federations to make Abu Dhabi a global capital of sport.”
As well as action on the pitch, off-pitch entertainment will be available for the whole family to enjoy with the exciting City Village at Zayed Sports City. The City Village will include live entertainment, a variety of food and beverage options, bouncy castles and fun interactive activities with the tournament taking place from 09:00am – 17:00pm both days.
For further information on the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup 2017 please visit: www.citycupabudhabi.comFor all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.