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Football Impact, Costa del Sol's winter economic engine

Source: Pilar Gómez (EFE)

One hundred international football teams, including clubs and national teams and, are scheduled to concentrate in 2018 in Costa del Sol, which will generate an economic impact of around 6.5 million euros.


The general director of Turismo Costa del Sol, Arturo Bernal, has indicated to Efe that the presence, "between January and March of 4,800 professional footballers" will cause "an economic impact of about 6.5 million euros" in the province of Malaga.


Not in vain, details that sports tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in Spain, attracting 10.5 million international travelers and 2.5 million domestic travelers, reaching an economic impact of 12,000 million euros.


The teams choose the sports facilities, soccer fields of the Costa del Sol, looking for better weather conditions for their gatherings, away from the winter, with low temperatures and precipitation, including snow, in their places of origin .


These are countries such as China, Russia, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Hungary, Scotland and Norway, among others.


The company Football Impact, in charge of organizing the trip, the stay, booking the sports facilities for training, as well as the holding of friendly meetings, has explained to Efe that the majority, some 60 teams, will arrive to Marbella between the months of January and March.


"The rest of the teams, about twenty, will be in Estepona, and the rest, up to a hundred, in Torremolinos, Benahavís, Mijas and Alhaurín El Grande," the company reported.


The trainings are, generally, in the facilities of Marbella Football Center and also in soccer fields of municipalities of the province of Malaga like Coín, Estepona or Marbella, among others.


This year, highlights the presence of four teams from the China Super League: Hebei China Fortune, Shanghai Shenhua, Tianjin Quanjian and Jiangsu Suning.


Hebei China Fortune repeats in Marbella for the second year in a row and counts as coach with Chilean Manuel Pellegrini, ex-coach of Málaga, among other Spanish teams.


Also, Jiangsu Suning is led by the Italian Fabio Capello, an equipment expert like Real Madrid and former national coach of England and Russia.


Regarding the Russian First Division, the same sources have indicated that Marbella have chosen their current champion, Spartak Moscow, the current leader, Lokomotiv Moscow, as well as FC Krasnodar, FC Rostov and FC Rubin Kazan.


On German teams, Borussia Dortmund, who has played the Champions League this season, and others such as Wolfsburg, Sttutgart, Kaiserslautern, Dynamo Dresden or Fortuna Düsseldorf, have also chosen Malaga for their winter gatherings.


In allusion to Borussia Dortmund, the director of Football Impact, Andrés Roldán, has reported that they have spent a week in Marbella for the second year.


"They have left very happy and want to repeat", he assured about the German team.


At this point, Roldan stressed that every two or three days organize a game and many are televised, which is a great promotion for Marbella and the Costa del Sol.


For this year they foresee the dispute of some two hundred friendly matches in Costa del Sol, but especially in Marbella.


This municipality is also chosen by European countries such as Feyenoord (Holland), Basel (Switzerland), Standard Liège and Zulte Waregen (Belgium), Videoton (Hungary), Partick Thistle (Scotland) and Valerenga (Norway).


On the other hand, teams like the Steaua Bucharest (Romania), which was European champion in 1986, chooses Mijas; in Alhaurín El Grande is Sparta Prague (Czech Republic); and RB Salzburg (Austria) and Rosenborg (Norway) have opted for Estepona and Benahavís, respectively.


On the economic and tourist impact of the presence on the Costa del Sol of about 100 teams, from Football Impact have pointed out that the most powerful teams are inclined by five-star establishments such as La Quinta hotels, Meliá Don Pepe, Meliá Banús, Los Monteros, Guadalpin Banus, H10 Estepona Palace, La Cala Golf, among others.