The opening ceremony of three new centres of AC Milan International Academy in the federal state of Kerala, launched in collaboration with Calicut Sport City LLT, was recently held in India.
At the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Kochi, a city located in the Ernakulam district that will host one of the centres, a delegation of the Club, in the presence of Christian Panucci, former defender two-time champion of Italy and once European champion with the Rossoneri between 1993 and 1997, met the institutions, partners and local press before moving to Maharaja’s College Stadium for the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Already present in Asia with established centres in China, Japan, Kuwait and Vietnam, AC Milan makes its own experience and tradition available to its Academies, unreservedly sharing its technical-organisational methodology to contribute to the development of a healthy sports culture, which supports the initiatives to introduce young people to sport.
Official Academy Head Coach Alberto Lacandela, through the application of the Metodo Milan (AC Milan Method), will organise and train with passion and competence the technical staff of the three Academies of Ernakulam, Kozhikode and Malappuram, which will offer a training programme that will actively involve girls and boys from 5 to 18 years of age, offering them an elite technical programme to accompany them in their sporting and personal growth.
Casper Stylsvig, AC Milan’s Chief Revenue Officer, said: “We are delighted to unveil three new AC Milan International Academy centres in India, a strategic territory for the Club, with great growth prospects and a Rossoneri fanbase of over 64 million supporters. This is further evidence of AC Milan’s desire to be a point of reference both outside and inside its national borders and to invest on the next generations both on and off the pitch, in accordance with the values the define our Club’s DNA”.
Luigi Cascone, Deputy Consul General of Italy in Mumbai, added: “The decision of an Italian club like AC Milan to open a number of Academies in Kerala is a sign of great foresight. India is among the countries with the highest growth rates in the world and almost one and a half billion inhabitants with an average age of 28. However, the football that I have seen here in Kochi today, and the dozens of families and officials who came to witness the opening, is not just about business. On the contrary, it is above all about values, such as friendship, teamwork and mutual respect. Values of which we are proud as Italians and which today are the real heroes”.
“We chose AC Milan because of the quality of the project they propose,” said Milan Baiju, President of Calicut Sport City LLP and official partner of the Academies, “and we are confident that through this collaboration we will be able to further increase the quality of football in Kerala”.