Real Madrid Comes to Canggu

real.gifBy Rian Dewanto
The Bali Times

CANGGU ~ Top Spanish club Real Madrid, home to departing star David Beckham, is to open a football academy in Canggu, North Kuta next year, officials said this week.

“The plan is moving forward. However, we haven’t decided how to run the academy or what it’s going to be like. On July 20, the project manager from Real Madrid, Juan, will come here to discuss the details of the plan,” Canggu Club football coach Wolfgang Pical told the Bali Times on Thursday.

The project came about, said Pical, after a visit by the Real official to the Canggu Club, a newly completed, state-of-the-art sporting and leisure facility.

“He went to Canggu Club, and said he was interested in building a football academy here,” he said.

“The initial plan is complete. Through Juan, Real Madrid has acquired enough land near Canggu Community School to build two football pitches,” Pical said.

“We are still waiting for many things. The reason why they choose Bali, I think, because their owner has a property here.”

The 2007 La Liga title winner has been working on the plan for the last year and a half and gained all the necessary permits and other paperwork in both Spain and Indonesia, said Pical.

The Indonesian Football Association has questioned the legality of the academy, claiming that the association has never been involved in the talks.

“Neither the central nor provincial office has been officially informed about the establishment of the academy; therefore Nurdin (Halid, chairman of the association) had asked me to find it out,” Made Sumer, head of the Bali Football Association, told reporters this week.

According to Sumer, as investor, the Spanish club must have involved the national association, since the academy is planned to be training ground for young players.

“I will send some staff to Canggu. This matter involves a bilateral relationship. The Spanish consulate should have informed the Bali government about this. If they don’t have a clear purpose, then it’s illegal,” said Sumer.

Meanwhile, Fabio Capello, who guided Real Madrid to the Spanish league title on Sunday, could quit coaching altogether if the club decide to sack him, media reported on Tuesday amid speculation on who might replace him.

The 61-year-old Italian, who has coached AC Milan and Juventus in Serie A, still has two years left on his Real contract, but his future is far from assured given his fractious relationship with the club’s president, Ramon Calderon.

Capello told Onda Cero radio that “I have the feeling they will seek out a new architect for the new project.”

Asked what he would do if Real show him the door, Capello told Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport: “I’ve already coached the best teams, so I could quit two years early.”

He put his chances of staying with Real, whom he also helped win the Spanish title in the 1996-97 season, at 50-50.

“It’s on the toss of a coin,” he said. “All I know is that I would like to stay here to win the Champions League. I have already booked my flight (back to Spain) to return on July 19, because training starts on the 20th.”

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