Sunday 13 October 2019, 16:56

Legends give Lebanese students an experience of a lifetime

  • FIFA Legends help launch Football for Schools pilot project in Lebanon

  • Schoolchildren and coaches learned valuable life skills

  • One coach said: "We should use sports in order to create better human beings"

Lebanese schoolchildren took the chance to learn some valuable lessons from FIFA Legends, who were present at Chouf Stadium to take part in the launch of the second FIFA Football for Schools pilot project, which began in Lebanon today.

Coach Jose Mourinho along with Kaka, Samuel Eto'o, Youri Djorkaeff, Laura Georges, Marcel Desailly and Tim Cahill visited the town of Chouf in the Lebanese mountains to give kids from the area a clear message on how football can teach important life skills.

Hundreds of students along with their coaches took part in a two-hour session with the FIFA Legends and had the chance to play football in addition to receiving some valuable insights and lessons from the stars of the game.

Fourteen-year-old Ali Al Hassanieh was so excited to meet the FIFA Legends and he talked about how Sunday was "the best day of my life and I had great fun."

"The teachers taught us how to play with each other and how to help our team," said Ali when asked about what he learnt from the event. “We have learned how to work as team-mates and how to accept defeat."

"At defeat, we should have fair play and we should be open to each other," he explained.

Meeting Mourinho was something Tony Tahesh was looking forward to and he was happy that the Portuguese coach shared his experience with him and his colleagues.

"Mourinho said that he was a teacher like us and this is something we look for," said Tahesh, who is also a coach for a regional football team. "It was great to meet him and the other legends.

"We have worked together with FIFA on how to transfer football into our lives and the lives of the students," he added. "We should connect football with the lives of the students and this is what we want to do.

"I hope that we can spread the message all over Lebanon and then over to 700 million girls and boys around the world."

Paula Noun, a coach and theatre teacher at a public school, echoed the words of her colleague as she said that football is a way to build a better society.

"We should use sports in order to create better human beings,” said Noun. "Sports can help us a lot in this task as we can teach students to show their respect, how to deal with others and accept defeat as well as victory.

"At school, students are eager and have great motivation to play sports. We can use this in order to teach them several key life values, which will help them when they get older, whether they carry on to be professional footballers or not."

Noun and her colleagues will definitely pass on Mourinho and the other FIFA Legends' message to their students to help them become better footballers, as well as passing on important life skills learnt during what has been a truly special and memorable day for many young players in Lebanon.