BELO HORIZONTE: The Argentine Football Association [AFA] has signed an agreement with reigning Copa Libertadores Champions, Atlético Mineiro, to make use of their world class training facilities in central Belo Horizonte during next year’s FIFA World Cup.
Known as ‘Cidade do Galo’, the state of the art facility was voted the best training centre in South America in 2010 and occupies 244,000 square metres, complete with four full size pitches, a full scale medical department with physiology and physical therapy rooms, heated swimming pools and a hotel complex encompassing 20 luxury suites
The facility, which has previously been used by the Brazilian national team, is situated in an ideal location within the city, only 13km from Confins International Airport and 20km from the Mineirão Stadium – the newly renovated, 62,000 seated, multi-purpose venue that will host six matches including a semi-final during next year’s tournament.
In what has been a landmark week for Belo Horizonte, this announcement comes on the back of the news that Team GB will train, prepare and acclimatise in the city in the lead up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, confirming Belo Horizonte’s key role in the staging of the two largest global sporting events and reaffirming that the city is ready and prepared to host the world.
Speaking about the latest announcement, Marcio Lacerda, Mayor of Belo Horizonte, said: “We are delighted with the news that the Argentine Football Association have chosen to base themselves in Belo Horizonte during next year’s FIFA World Cup. This is yet another truly historical moment for the city and we look forward to welcoming our Argentinian friends.
“Last week we announced that Team GB will be based in Belo Horizonte in the lead up to Rio 2016 and together with today’s news, it is proof that the city is thriving in its capacity as a central hub in the preparations and delivery of the world’s two biggest and most prestigious sporting events.
“This is a tremendously exciting time for everybody involved and we will ensure that we continue to make the most of this wonderful opportunity for the benefit of the city and our people in the lead up to next year’s FIFA World Cup and beyond.”
Camillo Fraga, Municipal Secretary for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, said: “Our team has worked exceptionally hard to ensure that Belo Horizonte is a footballing focal point during next year’s FIFA World Cup and it is rewarding to see that our hard work is paying off with the excellent news that Argentina will be based in the city.
“Cidade do Galo is a first class training centre and the fact that a world class team such as Argentina will use the facilities is clear recognition of this. We know that Atlético Mineiro Football Club and the people of Belo Horizonte will create a second home for the Argentinean players and delegates
“Our aim is to provide a spectacular football festival for our citizens and visitors to Belo Horizonte and we know that the hard work must now continue as we enter the final stages of our preparation”
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