Djorkaef, Mido, other legends educate children about positive values through football
One of the oldest institutions on the African continent, Cairo University, played host to a select group of FIFA Legends on Monday, 6 January 2020, for an interactive questions and answers session, as part of the FIFA Legends Talks events that focus on living football.
Hundreds of students filled-up the university’s auditorium as globally renowned football legends Youri Djorkaef, current CEO of the FIFA Foundation, Egyptian icon Ahmed “Mido” Hossam, Clementine Toure, Head Coach of the Cote d’Ivoire Women’s National team and French women’s football legend, Laura Georges, shared their experiences and interacted with an audience of young scholars.
The quartet, representing various generations spoke about their careers, before and after retirement emphasizing the importance of discipline and dedication as one of key pillars in climbing the ladder of success.
Djorkaeff, explained the objectives of the FIFA Foundation, which he has been heading over the past few months and its role in the development of football at all levels and in particular FIFA’s Football for Schools programme designed to educate children about important life-skills and positive values through football.
“You are the next leaders of the world. Study makes you understanding and everything you are learning today will help your future. We are here because we had some achievements in our lives, which make us legends having played high level professional football.”He added: “Today is an occasion to give back to society. Before, thousands of people were watching us on the pitch in the stadium; and it is now our turn to be in front of you all and share such a great moment with you.” said Djorkaeff.
Having left Europe as a 17-year old, Mido whose career took him to Belgium Netherlands, France, Italy and England, emphasized on the importance of dedication towards achieving one’s dream.
“If you have a big dream, you have to work towards it and have determination. It’s not easy but with this determination you can achieve and realise your dream.” he said.Winning the 2008 edition of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations with Equatorial Guinea remains the biggest feat for Ivorian Clementine Toure. One of the elite female football brains on the continent, she cites her passion for a sport dominated by the opposite sex as the driving force.
“Football is passion, cohesion, and a way of life. You have to have a dream, believe in your qualities, live the dream. Through football, we can get it all.”
Laura Georges, who earned over 180 caps with France, recalled the impact of the experience on the pitch in shaping her life.“Our experience as players is not only relevant to football but to life. I was tough and I was not scared of boys; when I was playing with girls, I was tough. “
She added:” Sometimes, you have opportunities and you have to grab them and use them to bring changes. You all have the chances, if you stick to what you are, you can bring about change.” Founded in 1908, the Cairo University is Egypt’s premier University has a student population of more than 230,000.
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