RBR is here at the Red Bull Academy in Sogakope, Ghana, located almost an hour and a half east of the capital of Accra. Though we’ll get into some more detail later on our trip, there is one word that comes to mind when describing this facility: Impressive.
Red Bulls Cameroonian midfielder Matthew Mbuta has also tagged along on this trip to speak with the academy’s players and share his story about going from being an aspiring young player growing up in West Africa to working hard and making it professionally. We arrived early this morning after an overnight flight from New York. As we drove on a well-paved highway towards Sogakope, our driver told us that Red Bull’s professional team was just promoted from the Ghanaian First Division to the Premier League and are quickly making a positive impression in the Ghanaian soccer world in a variety of ways. The Red Bull Academy houses the professional team (under-20), a U17 team and a squad called the Muchachos – primarily consisting of U14s. The Academy has approximately 55 individuals among the three teams.
We drove into the bustling town of Sogakope – a popular town with a renowned spa and health club that tourists frequent – after crossing the beautiful Volta Bridge and rattled through bumpy roads next to endless valleys before seeing an oasis of soccer fields in the distance. Along with a grass field, the facility has two well-maintained turf fields – one of which has a grandstand that holds about 500 people (see above).
We’ll have a video tour exclusively on RBR and later today, Matthew will be speaking to all of the players on their lunch recess since Red Bull runs a full-time school on campus. Make sure you keep on checking back for updates from this beautiful facility, as we will show you around the academy and watch a intra-academy scrimmage, look at soccer in Africa and Red Bull soccer’s global vision.