Aspire Academy launched its 9th Global Summit in partnership with the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), featuring a lineup of prominent guests including Julen Lopetegui, Alessandro Del Piero and Simone Inzaghi.

Held in the heart of the Italian capital Rome at the iconic Stadio Olimpico, the hallowed ground of AS Roma and Lazio football clubs, the two-day summit convenes football and sporting experts from around the world to share insights, experiences and innovation in football performance and science.

In his opening remarks, Aspire Zone Foundation CEO Mohammed Khalifa Al-Suwaidi welcomed guests to the event, reiterating the need for sports development to transcend borders and connect people to foster an environment for growth. He urged guests to inspire, excel and leave a lasting legacy that will shape the future of sport.


FIGC President Gabriele Gravina echoed Al-Suwaidi’s sentiment, emphasising the importance of learning and sharing knowledge that goes beyond boundaries. She also urged the delegates to take the opportunity to converse and take away new ideas from the summit.

Aspire Academy Director General Ivan Bravo, meanwhile, underscored the significance of the event in connecting industry experts who are passionate about the sport.

This summit is the result of a year of progress and key learnings, as well as a great opportunity to network and revisit the year’s milestones and address key challenges that players and clubs are facing today.

Bravo also encouraged attendees to consider why so many young players who make their debuts fail to establish themselves as regulars in the first team.

Master Class

Former coach for Real Madrid and Sevilla Julen Lopetegui delivered the opening master class. He said that there is no such thing as an ideal coaching strategy that will work everywhere – you have to adapt to the context you find yourself in.

Every challenge is an opportunity for learning and growth, and it is important to analyse what went wrong and to learn and take the right course of action. We need to be role models for the players.

The highlight of the day was the Star Chat sessions with Italian football icons Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi and former Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero. According to Inzaghi, it is crucial to keep an open dialogue with all players, especially the younger ones who need more support. Del Piero, who now works as a television analyst, recalled some of the key moments from his illustrious career.

He said he was too shy as a player and never asked his coaches to explain things he didn’t understand.

Now I am telling my own kids to question their coaches when things go wrong so that they can learn and they can improve.

Series of workshops

Day 1 of the summit concluded with a series of workshops focused on

  • Lifestyle and Players Performance: The Invisible Training
  • Enhancing Team Performance: The Individual Approach
  • Scouting the Staff: Matching Competences with the Organisational Demands

Participating fellows convened with a final Round Table where panellists shared ideas on how they work with players in areas like nutrition, mental health and physiology when they leave the club environment and are home away from relevant experts.


This edition of the Global Summit has attracted over 300 guests from across the globe and garnered participation from more than 50 members of the Aspire in the World Fellows programme. The summit will continue with Star Chats with Paulo Fonseca, the Portuguese coach of French club Lille, and former Argentina legend Javier Zanetti.

The summit is streamed live via Al Kass TV. Get more details at

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