Abu Dhabi to host reality TV show to find a future star for Italy’s top professional football league, Lega Serie ASun 17 Sep 2023
- STARZPLAY’s The Italian Dream provides an incredible opportunity for the best young football talent across MENA
- Hunt for young footballing talent will help boost the UAE’s vibrant sports culture in line with PureHealth’s efforts to champion healthy lifestyles and empower communities
- The competition will scour the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Egypt for young footballing talent, following aspiring pros through trials and eliminations, until one player wins their “Italian Dream”
Abu Dhabi: Three Abu Dhabi-based organizations have partnered with Lega Serie A, Italy’s premier professional football league, to find the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s next football star and give them a chance to play on one of the world’s greatest sporting stages.
STARZPLAY, one of the region’s leading subscription video-on-demand services, PureHealth, the largest healthcare platform in the Middle East, and Image Nation Abu Dhabi, the Academy Award-winning media and entertainment studio, have partnered with Lega Serie A to launch an original show, The Italian Dream. The show will help boost the UAE’s vibrant sports culture in line with PureHealth’s vision to promote longevity by encouraging a healthier, active lifestyle through the support of sporting activities.
Offering the opportunity of a lifetime, this reality TV show gives the best young footballers in the MENA region the chance to showcase their talent and make their dreams come true. Over six episodes, The Italian Dream is filmed in the host emirate of Abu Dhabi, with Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Egypt also participating. Honing their skills alongside world-class players, the sport’s protégés will have the chance to play in one of world football’s biggest leagues.
The launch event of the show was hosted in Abu Dhabi and was attended by senior officials, His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi; Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, CEO of Etisalat – UAE; Farhan Malik, Group CEO of PureHealth; Shaista Asif, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of PureHealth; Maaz Sheikh, CEO of STARZPLAY; Lorenzo Fanara, Ambassador of the Republic of Italy to the UAE; Luigi De Siervo, CEO of Lega Serie A; Francesco Totti, the renowned former AS Roma football player and Lega Serie A ambassador and other senior representatives from PureHealth, STARZPLAY, Lega Serie A and Image Nation Abu Dhabi.
Footballing legends from Lega Serie A will participate in the show as mentors and guides for the competitors. The show will not only spotlight the participants’ exceptional football skills but also offer insights into their families, their aspirations, and the importance of healthy living for sport led by what Lega Serie A symbolizes for them.
Maaz Sheikh, CEO, of STARZPLAY, said: “The launch of The Italian Dream is a testament to STARZPLAY’s commitment to diversify its content range to meet its audience’s preferences, and its continued drive to produce the highest standard of Arabic content and showcase local talent. By examining audience viewing patterns and viewership data, we recognized that sports play a crucial role in attracting viewers across the Middle East and North Africa, with football standing out as the sport of choice in a nation driven by the vision of its leaders towards healthy and happy living. It was from this analysis that the concept of The Italian Dream was born.”
Shaista Asif, Group Chief Operating Officer of PureHealth, said: “We are proud to support The Italian Dream TV show – a strategic collaboration that propels young football talent in the MENA region towards unprecedented opportunities. By empowering these aspiring athletes, we are not only shaping their futures but also fuelling the region’s sporting excellence.”
Luigi De Siervo, CEO of Lega Serie A, said: “The Italian Dream exemplifies Lega Serie A’s commitment to investing in grassroots talent in the MENA region by providing opportunities for local emerging players to grow, learn, and showcase their abilities on one of the world’s most renowned and storied football leagues – Lega Serie A. This project cements Lega Serie A’s partnership with STARZPLAY, introducing a new dimension to the collaboration with an engaging content platform combining sports and entertainment for regional audiences.”
Commenting on the production, Ben Ross, Acting CEO of Image Nation said: “Image Nation constantly looks for diverse new projects that uncover inspirational stories from the UAE and the region. We are excited to embark on this unique show which will not only give a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to talented young footballers but will provide audiences with the chance to experience the emotional personal journeys of the lucky participants.”
STARZPLAY is the home of Italian football in the MENA region with the rights to stream every match from the Lega Serie A live and exclusively. With thousands of hours of premium content including the best Western content, Arabic shows, Turkish favorites, anime, and live sports, STARZPLAY is fast solidifying its position as a leading multi-faceted entertainment hub. The service is available in 19 countries across the MENA for fans to enjoy quality content anytime, anywhere, and from any device.