Etihad Airways this week flew the squad to Beijing on their first ever visit to China, for a pre-season summer tour, where they will play Arsenal FC at the Birds Nest Stadium on July 27.
While in China, Etihad Airways and the club are taking their Soccer School program to Beijing for six days of MCFC football coaching.
The city’s Si’de Park pitch is the latest location for the Etihad Airways Manchester City FC Soccer Schools as Manchester City continues their international program of football education for local children.
Manchester City is committed to sharing their football resources abroad and coaching young players of all ages and abilities, having started with their MCFC football coaching programs based in Abu Dhabi. The Club engages and interacts with every community they visit all over the world from Africa to the Middle East and North America, building soccer pitches in the most deprived urban areas of the USA, including New York, Los Angeles and Miami.
Football star Patrick Vieira and a member of the MCFC First Team will take part in a coaching session during the week.
Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer of Etihad Airways, said the airline was delighted to bring the ‘beautiful game’ to children in China through its support of the Manchester City Football Club Soccer Schools Beijing program.
“The Soccer Schools program is a natural extension of Etihad Airways’ highly successful sponsorship of Manchester City Football Club.
“It demonstrates the synergy of our respective partnership and corporate social responsibility programs and how communities the world over can benefit from the close association of two powerful brands.
“Having an ambassador like football legend Patrick Vieira, an immensely popular figure in China, is a major plus for the grassroots community program, and we feel sure the children in Beijing will be overjoyed to meet and learn from such a superstar.
“We hope they will be inspired by the Soccer Schools’ experience and go on to become China’s football stars of the future.”
Patrick Vieira, MCFC Football Development Executive, said: “It’s clear that the passion for soccer is very strong in China, I’ve witnessed that on many occasions as Manchester City has prepared for this summer’s visit to Beijing.
“I’m looking forward to seeing that passion for the game for these very special and brave youngsters who are working with our coaches at the Etihad Airways Manchester City FC Soccer Schools. They will have the opportunity to learn to play soccer the Manchester City way, and it’s a privilege and an honour for the Club to be able to work with them.”