21 June 2012
Realmadrid.com / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Marcelo visited the Realmadrid Foundation's social-sports academy in Sao Paulo on Tuesday and played football with 120 children of 8-16 years of age.
"It is an honour to represent the Realmadrid Foundation in my country because it has a very humane mission, which is to help children in their social and sports education," said the player, "There is nothing more stimulating than trying to come up with a better future for those who will hold it in their hands, that is children.
"I cannot forget where I came from and what my first steps in sport were like, what the values I learned as a child were and which were the principles I needed to have in order to achieve my dreams. Now that I've seen some of them through, such as playing for Brazil and Real Madrid, I feel proud to participate in this event because I'm sure that some of these kids, with the help of the Realmadrid Foundation, the Salesians and Banco Santander, will be in my situation in the not so distant future. There is nothing more beautiful than remembering the past while living the present."
Marcelo visited the academy in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, which has 100 students aged between six and 16. They all come from the Jacarezinho favela and live in poverty and in risk of social exclusion. They carry out several activities that help them in their learning and prepare them for the working world. These academies are part of the project carried out by the Realmadrid Foundation and the Salesian Missions to help children and young people in risk of social exclusion. This project provides them with nourishment, healthcare and psychological help.
"I've had the chance to be in the opening of the academy of Don Bosco in Sao Paulo and I will never forget it, just like I will never forget being with you today," said the player, "I feel proud for getting a chance to help those who need it and I appreciate the affection of those who give it best: children. We all have the responsibility to come up with a better future and, thanks to the Fundacion Mapfre, the Salesian Missions and the Realmadrid Foundatrion, many children will live in better conditions and will be more hopeful towards the future. Football is my life and I never believed I could become a leading example for kids with it. The best possible trophy I could win is helping out those who will design our most immediate future."