Arsenal legend Etamé-Mayer Lauren has urged Rwandan youth to consider football as a professional career and take it seriously rather than an avenue to pass time.
The 41-year old former right-back made the observation while conducting a training session with youngsters at Amahoro Stadium yesterday as he began his four-day visit to Rwanda.
The former Cameroon international arrived in the country Tuesday where he is expected to grace the 14th edition of the famous Kwita Izina (Gorilla Naming) event this Friday in Kinigi, Musanze in Northern Province.
Lauren’s trip to Rwanda is part of the ‘Visit Rwanda’ tourism partnership between Rwanda and English Premier League side Arsenal.
Lauren said: “I was very moved by the skills and tactical moves of the youngsters I worked with today. To have a professional career in football, you have to work hard and start at a young age.”
“The partnership between Arsenal and Rwanda (Visit Rwanda) is a great opportunity for talented youngsters to realize their dream,” he said.
In an interview with Times Sport, the Minister for Sports and Culture, Julienne Uwacu, said that having a legend of the ‘Lauren caliber’ to share wisdom with young footballers is a rare opportunity.
“For our young players, this is a very good experience to meet and draw inspiration from Lauren. Through the partnership with Arsenal, we hope to receive many more Arsenal legends and current players to inspire our young generation of footballers,” said Uwacu.
As an Arsenal player, Lauren won several trophies and is known as one of the 'Invincibles'; a title given to the Arsenal squad in 2004 after they went undefeated in the 2003/2014 season to win the Premier League title.
He also won an Olympic Gold Medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics with Cameroon.