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A GUIDEPOST Report
Spanish football superstar and ex-Barcelona Football Club legend Xavi Hernandez was in Dubai last 23 November to meet lucky Adidas sports skills competition winners and open the brand new flagship GO-Sport store in Mall of the Emirates.
Excited fans turned out in force to catch a glimpse of the global icon, with Adidas winners getting to spend precious time and have pictures taken with their footballing hero. On behalf of Adidas, the FIFA World Cup winner made the short trip over from Qatar to Dubai to meet fans as well as test out the latest edition of the Adidas Primeknit X and Ace football boots in the new Adidas skills cage set up in-store.
Speaking within the spectacular surrounds of GO-Sports, Xavi, currently with the Qatari Al Sadd Sports Club, said: “I’m really enjoying my new life and time in the Middle East and the warm reception here in Dubai has been amazing. You can instantly feel the passion people have for all sport but particularly for football. It is always special to meet people who care about football the way I do and the same way as Adidas.
“I’m a footballer so to get to play in the Adidas skills cage and meet football fans from all over the world was a brilliant way to open the new store.”
Xavi’s visit coincided with the launch of the all-new Primeknit construction X and Ace football boot series by Adidas to offer more control and more chaos on the pitch than ever before. Considered by many to be Spain’s greatest ever player, Xavi demonstrated the new boots while joining lucky competition winners in the interactive Adidas skills cage, which puts technique and touch to the test in a tightly enclosed zone.
Commenting on the GO-Sport event Jason Thomas, Managing Director, Adidas Middle East and Northern Africa, said: “For Adidas to bring a superstar like Xavi to such an important occasion is a big statement of our intent and our passion. It reflects our commitment to the region, our partners and connects Adidas to all sports fans and players with a once in a lifetime opportunity. Xavi is one of our most celebrated icons who is adored worldwide but especially in this region.”
Thomas went on: “Few could imagine seeing Xavi showing off his many skills up close as he did today in the new interactive Adidas sports cage here in GO-Sport.”
Twelve-year-old Seif Nahas, who trains at the Spanish Soccer School in Dubai, said: “I think Xavi is the best player ever and I have always admired him. He is the best passer of the ball I have ever seen, and scores amazing goals. I play in midfield and I always try and play like Xavi!”
Proving he is a favorite of even the youngest fans, the 9-year-old competition winner Andrew Kelaita said: “Xavi is my hero. He was my favourite player at Barcelona and it’s amazing to meet him. When I grow up I want to be a footballer just like Xavi, I play in centre midfield so he’s my inspiration.”
Xavi is one of the most celebrated and gifted footballing stars. His remarkable playing achievements include one FIFA World Cup, eight La Liga titles, three UEFA Champions Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups, three Copa del Reys, six Spanish Supercups, and two FIFA Club World Cups over a 17-year playing career.
Mall of the Emirates photo: Majid Al Futtaim Properties, proprietor of the Mall of the Emirates website, grants a non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited right to access, use and display the site and the materials thereon. ( http://www.malloftheemirates.com/terms-conditions.aspx#sthash.2WAoPxy9.dpuf )
Texts, prints, photos and other illustrative materials depicted in GUIDEPOST have been either contributed by the authors of each published work or, to the Magazine’s good-faith knowledge, are in the public domain or otherwise benefit from the allowances of Articles 9(2), 10, 10(bis), and applicable others of the Berne Convention for the Protection of literary and artistic works.