Mar 112013


“Motivation”  a grassroots Project that motivates excellence in football – as well as educational achievement in Latin-America for young footballers from 14 to 18 years old.

A unique opportunity to invest in football development in Uruguay


Diego Forlan, Alvaro Recoba, Luis Suarez, Edison Cavani, all started their football at ONFI – Organización Nacional de Futbol Infantil (National Infant Foottball Association) in Uruguay, Gustavo Poyet also came through the programme and was also named Director of the programme a few years ago before becoming manager at Brighton & Hove Albion FC. ONFI is a government backed organisation which runs football academies throughout the whole of Uruguay up to the age of 13. Not only do they have very comprehensive football training, they all have full diet control and advice, regular medical examinations and controls to ensure optimum development. Psychologists also keep reports on their general behavior and other socially related reactions and attitudes. Records are kept on all the footballers registered with the programme throughout their time at ONFI, offering a unique database from a very young age.

Uruguay and indeed, all of South and Central America, currently offer a highly profitable opportunity to invest in emerging football talent.

Huge profits are possible in this dynamic sector – with investment possibilities tailored to individuals, clubs or corporate budgets or investment funds, etc.

FIFA recently published the candidates to compete for the FIFpro ideal Eleven: Of the list of the chosen 15 forwards, six were from South America;  Messi, Aguero, Cavani, Suárez, Falcao y Neymar, two of which are Uruguayan, two Argentinean, one Brazilian, and one Colombian.

Both Uruguayan strikers, Cavani and Luis Suarez, came through the ONFI programme (National Infant football Organisation), the Uruguayan government backed youth football project for kids aged 6 to 13.


 European Origins

* European Player Compatibility*

Uruguay, situated on the western sideboard of South America, is a remarkable powerhouse for the production of superb footballers.

Uruguay has a population of 3.2 million although, surprisingly, 90% of the population descend from European immigrants; the majority from Spanish and Italian or other European countries, many of whom are still eligible for European Union passports.

The climate in Montevideo is very similar to southern European countries with highs in summer of 30 to 35 degrees Celsius and mild winter temperatures of 5 to 10 degrees. The country is notably European in culture and structure – differing enormously from its South American neighbours.  This makes any move abroad easily compatible for most Uruguayans.


Football in Uruguay

*A history of Remarkable Success*

Uruguay is automatically associated with football – for good reason.

Peñarol and Nacional de Montevideo are amongst the most renowned clubs in the world. Peñarol proclaimed “Club Champion of the 20th Century” above even Real Madrid, by the IFFHS. Uruguay was the first South American nation to make an international impact on the world (winning gold medals in the 1924 and 1928 Olympic Games and both winning and staging the first ever World Cup in 1930). Twenty years later, in 1950, Uruguay won their second World Cup which was named the “Maracanazo” – as they beat Brazil at the newly built Maracaná Stadium.  Uruguay has the most South American Nations Cups with 15 wins, Argentina is second with 14 and surprisingly, Brazil is third with a mere 8. Uruguay is reigning champion of South America at present and will participate in the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brasil.


Existing South American scouting and player investment and devolpment

*Tried, Proven and Tested*

 Many clubs and private investors have agreements with affiliate clubs, or purchase part ownership of players at certain clubs through exclusive agreements often for astronomical amounts. Investment groups like Traffic and Gestifute (Jorge Mendes), invest huge amounts of capital to find a small percentage of successful footballers for the future.

It is a rather absurd urban myth that the best footballers come from poor backgrounds! The fact that poorer kids don’t have much else to do than play football surely makes the probability of them becoming footballers greater. They have more time, they are not interested in studying too much and they are willing to sacrifice other things to concentrate on football. Also, being fed by a football club, let alone being paid, even a small sum of money, can be extremely useful for families in extreme poverty, so they are more than willing to allow and support their child to dedicate most or all of his time to becoming a professional footballer, what other alternatives does he really have of escaping poverty.

It also means that their ambitious is quenched easily, once they reach only relative success, they are easily satisfied.

However, it goes without saying that a well fed and developed youth, with a good cultural and educational background and a middle class upbringing would fit the preferences of all football clubs in a professional world that needs responsible professionals both on and off the field, as the marketable image of players becomes more and more important in the career of a footballer.

Their drive for success and ultimate goals are also far greater.


Objects of the project

 *The Opportunity*

Professional football clubs in Uruguay do not take players before the age of 14 years old.

The majority of children from the age of 6 to 13 join the state backed programme called “ONFI” Organizacion Nacional de Futbol Infantil (National Organisation of Infant Football). Over 60,000 children between the ages of 6 and 13 are affiliated to this programme at present.

Once young people finish this process at age 13, some will be offered places at professional football clubs to concentrate on developing their football ability and skills. They attend (academic) school only 4 hours a day and the rest of their time they spend training at their football clubs. In the majority of cases, by age 16, these youngsters will have not only failed at school, but most probably will have dropped out altogether, anyway. Football will be left as their only option to escape poverty.

Due to this situation, children from middle and upper class families are not interested in playing or signing at football clubs as they have other motivations and preferences.

This particular group of children have distinct and clear differences to the children who would usually sign at a football club aged 13/14. Here are some of the main differences;

  • They attend bilingual schools (mainly English and Spanish, but often French and German, too)
  • High cultural and educational background
  • Excellent school performance and results
  • Full parental support, with stable family surroundings
  • Boast excellent health, diets and live in unstressed and safe environments
  • Many have European descendants and have access to EU passports

Those children who achieve a notable level of football at this age generally give up the game as the demands of maintaining a competitive level are incompatible with other activities, such as academic studies.

Our “Programa Motivacion” proposes to take the best young players from ONFI at age 13, who do not wish to sign at professional football clubs, and offer to them a training programme at an individual level whereby they can accomplish in their studies, but at the same time become accomplished athletes.

Places would be limited from 10 to 20 players per year, maximum, they would participate in the competitive “University” leagues of Uruguay where teams from schools, professional football club (specific teams for students) and universities participate in leagues with youngsters from under 15 levels upwards, designed specifically for full-time students and at the same time benefit from personalised coaches, physical trainers and psychologists on a programme that would offer them the same or even a better chance of becoming a professional athletes than if they were at the professional football clubs.

Once the programme works, it would not stop at just the “privileged” youngsters, we would also look at the option of scholarships for those children with good academic records and football skills who deserve opportunities both academically and in football, and whose family cannot afford to give them the opportunity.

These players would also be free from any club, transfer free, with no training compensation applicable as amateurs in the University leagues and under our programme.

The final product would be a well-educated, academically qualified, achieved athlete, capable of competing in a professional environment at the highest level.

Their final destinies would be various;

  • Scholarships at American Universities – trails would be arranged for college coaches to scout in November each year in Uruguay or US.
  • Trails for professional clubs in MLS, Europe and other competitive leagues throughout the world
  • Continue playing football at an amateur level and obtain university studies in Uruguay
  • Continue playing at the professional club we will create in Uruguay “Old Boy’s FC” within the first 4 years of running the project.

What can this proposal offer – that others cannot?

*Our Unique Selling Point*

Selection from over 60,000 players up to age 14 from all over Uruguay

Players from excellent backgrounds or specially chosen for their attitude and ambition

Many players have access to EU passports

Free players unattached from clubs

Possibility of signing players age 15/16 and upwards and then being developed in Uruguay until they reach 18, avoiding problems with FIFA rules. Players will be able to attended training periods at their professional clubs in vacations.

Bilingual players Spanish and English/French/German


Human resources:

*The Team – All Time Served Professionals*

 Top quality experienced professionals, coaches and psychologists


We are looking for professional football clubs, organisations, investors, or sponsors who would be interested in financing, supporting and/or partnering this project.