After years of scoring goals for Bayern Munich in the biggest stages of club football, Brazilian striker Giovane Elber took time to give a boost to young athletes in Manila on Saturday afternoon.
Elber's visit to the country is part of Allianz' football clinic series around the region. In the Philippines, the event took place at the Tuloy sa Don Bosco Foundation in Muntinlupa City.
The former Bayern star went through a few drills with the 27 participants from the street children's village, before playing two scheduled 7-a-side games with them. The camp went through without a hitch, despite the language barrier between the kids and Elber.
Elber enjoyed his time with the players so much, he requested for two more games before proceeding to the press conference after the clinic.
"From what he has seen so far, in the various Allianz camps around the world he's been to, this is one of the best," Elber's translator said. "He was very impressed with the level."
"They not only play as individuals well, but also the teams had a very high performance," he added.
The Tuloy Foundation takes pride in its sports and arts programs, which supplements their technical and vocational school, in their desire to develop well-rounded individuals. On the sporting side, Tuloy has produced players for both the most recent U-15 boys and girls national football teams.
After a sit down with Tuloy's Fr. Rocky Evangelista, Elber found that Tuloy's vision for their children is similar to an effort that he conducts himself in his own native Brazil.
"What he keeps on noticing, and what will also be noticing, is the importance of sports and how sports can change lives." Elber voiced through a translator. "It teaches you things for life, not just things for football, it teaches you respect, it teaches you punctuality, and many more things in life outside."
Elber concluded his trip to the country with a visit to the Allianz National Youth Futsal Invitational Luzon regional finals on Sunday, which featured elite players from Tuloy sa Don Bosco who could not attend the clinic.