Testimonies

Parents testimonies / season 2019/2020, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022

 Testimony 1  

It is with great pleasure that I recommend the international hidalgo soccer academy in Cannes, France. Our son Bruno is a student-resident at the academy for the 2021/2022 year-long program, and we couldn't be happier. In the past few months, Bruno has become more empowered, more confident, more committed, and determined to do his best and become his best self as a soccer player and student. The school is run like a well-oiled machine. The coaches, teachers, staff, and the school president, Laurence Potier, are not only highly experienced as professionals but are also warm and deeply caring. Bruno is living his dream in paradise while being challenged to develop the skills to live a successful life. In Bruno's words," I am constantly challenged on and off the field to aim for excellence while showing respect and support to others. I am learning to be a leader. "Dominique, Bruno's mother, USA Kansas, U20, goal keeper at RC Grasse

 Testimony 2 

Mathew traveled from USA to Hildago Academy to continue to train for soccer. The people at the academy have been wonderful. They have made Mathew feel part of a soccer family. They have elevated his training and he was able to compete at a very high level and now is on the AS Cannes club team. Mathew knows his overall game has improved in just a short time. The coaches are professional and skilled and very helpful. They are able to give Mathew excellent direction to improve his soccer game. Mathew’s goal has always been to play at the highest level, and he feels that he is moving quickly toward achieving that goal because of the  Hildago Academy and the AS Cannes training.  I have appreciated the academy communicating with me as well. It has been an amazing opportunity even in this most difficult time. Mary Ann, Mathew's mother, USA Indianapolis, U17 center at AS Cannes D1, then at FC Mougins R1

 Testimony 3

 « We have great pleasure to share with you about our impressions of the Michel Hidalgo Academy, about your professionalism and the professionalism of the entire staff of the Academy. We hope and believe that the acquired skills and knowledge will help Dastan fulfill his dream, the dream of millions of boys around the world, become a professional footballer. Many thanks to you and your Academy for the fact that you train children both physically and mentally, sharing your professional skills with them and this brings them closer to their cherished goal. Throughout the training at the Academy, we were secured for our minor son, since he was in the reliable hands of the coaches and staff of the Academy, he is taken care of around the clock. We are sincerely glad that Dastan entered precisely your Academy, since you have created all the conditions for studying, playing sports and relaxing. I wish your graduates to become famous football players, professionals in their field, and of course glorify your Academy and the name of the legendary Michel Hidalgo to the whole world, as he once glorified France ! » Dastan’s family, parents of Dastan, 17 years old, Kirgistan, striker at US Mandelieu La Napoule U19

 Testimony 4

 « Michel Hidalgo Football Academy provides top level training sessions with experienced qualified coaches. Moreover, the emphasis is always on the overall development of each individual in an atmosphere of respect. Academy players are given the opportunity to train both with the academy as well as with professional clubs and compete at their age group level at official FFF competitions. Most importantly, Michel Hidalgo Football Academy is a big and welcoming family based in Cannes, France. From our first meeting, I knew we would become friends for life. Laurence and Zino, keep up the excellent work! » Chrysis Dimitriou (Football Intermediary)

« Our family is very grateful for your given time and dedication to our son, being in the care of good people around him. You have a big influence in Dimitris from the very beginning of his journey with Michel Hidalgo Football Academy. Having worked side by side with my son on his skills and physical attributes, the hard work has paid off and his confidence has grown greatly through his match performances. We love the passion he has for football and how happy he is living in Cannes and training hard to achieve his goals. » Stavros & Olga, parents of Dimitris, 14 years old, Cyprus and Russian, striker at AS Cannes U15

 Testimony 5

We really appreciate your academy for giving the opportunity for our children to join as players from Ethiopia. We have seen your academy is a place to raise professional football players and also to make exposure of their talents to people around in France and beyond. I personally want to thank you for communicating us with all info needed about our children. Mr AKLILU, from Ethiopia, father of Mikiyas and Eyoel, U17 and U15, players at ES Cannet Rocheville

 Testimony 6

Being a professional footballer has been Nicholas Situmorang’s dream who loves football since he was 2 years old. Following his parents assignment to Paris in 2018 from Jakarta, Indonesia, made him enthusiastic because Neymar, one of his favourite football players, was there. Knowing our son’s passion, we enrolled him in PSG Academy in 2019 and 2021. From 2018 up to July 2021, Nico was active following football matches in Paris, Normandy, and other cities in France either with his school team or with other clubs. We found Michel Hidalgo International Football Academy in April 2021, and we believe that it will help Nico fulfil his dream, so we enrolled him there for the 2021-2022 program.

Nico is happy living in the beautiful city of Cannes, together with other 23 students from different countries, who share the same passion and dream, under Michel Hidalgo International Football Academy. He knew that the Academy would improve his football knowledge and professional skill. He was also happy to use his English and French for communication there, as well as to have opportunity to do online study about how to become a football coach. From Hidalgo video information, we got the impression that the overall training is made to help improve our son’s football skill. The coaches are very professional, the matches with other clubs are frequent, the training facilities as well as the therapist are very good. We really appreciate that the Academy takes care of our son and update the activities and progress of the students regularly in two ways communication. Overall, we think that Nicholas is in good hands to bring him closer to his dream. Thank you, Michel Hidalgo International Football Academy. Tigor and Cicilia, from Indonesia, parents of Nicholas Situmorang, 18 years old, defender attacker - midfielder

 Testimony 7 

I am very happy to provide an endorsement for the Michel Hidalgo Academy on behalf of my son, Nicholas, and our family. Nicholas traveled to Cannes, France from Vancouver, Canada with the hopes of experiencing a unique opportunity to live, train and learn like a professional football player would experience. Coming from Canada, soccer is not the most popular sport and unfortunately, that also means opportunity for excellent training, excellent coaching and playing against other players at the highest level is minimal. The ability to therefore develop your skills, mindset and maturity needed to advance to the highest level of one’s potential is missing. Distractions among teenage friends to play other sports or not focus on soccer is common, and coupled with so little opportunity to advance (especially during Covid restrictions) led to continued discouragement for us as a family and our son in particular. We knew to truly maximize Nicholas’ potential, we had to look elsewhere and so we researched many academies across Europe. In the end we chose Michel Hidalgo because it claimed to present a unique experience that looked to be very different from the other options. Nicholas did not want to travel to Europe simply to attend a boarding school and play soccer for the “school team”… he wanted to be immersed in the complete soccer experience and live and train with other players from around the world that wanted the same.

Michel Hidalgo claimed to deliver this experience and we decided to take a chance. The result after the first four months is that we could not be happier! This program is everything we hoped for and more. From my son’s perspective, it has given him the full-time training with exceptional coaching talent that he desired. It has opened his eyes to his own potential and allowed him to see he can achieve so much more. It has allowed him to meet like-minded players from around the world and create friendships that will surely last his lifetime. He is experiencing different cultures and perfecting his French language skills in an immersive way. Most importantly, he is being challenged every day to push himself beyond what he believed his limits were, to develop to a level higher than he thought possible, and he is seeing the success of his efforts! He is now playing at a level he never even saw at home, nor did he think he could play at. With the support of the Academy and their coaching staff, he is achieving all of this.

From our perspective as parents, it was a big decision to send our 16 year old son halfway across the world. But we took the chance and it has addressed three major areas we knew our son needed for success, not only in soccer but also for his life in general: 1) Freedom - too often in our privileged western culture it’s difficult for kids to truly experience freedom - the freedom to really make their own choices, to succeed with those choices as well as the freedom to experience the risk of failure. We believe risk is essential in developing our character as a person and our ability to find our own successes.This freedom was a big change in our son’s life and it has proven to be extremely positive. 2) Responsibility - our son is 100% responsible for his success because of this opportunity. He must act accordingly to his new environment and his academy teammates and coaches, and the team he plays for. He must apply himself 110% to his goals and there are no longer excuses for not achieving those goals. He has only to look at himself for his success and failure and the effort he puts in to achieve those goals. He is entirely responsible for his schooling and must work hard to complete his assignments remotely from his high school here in Vancouver and achieve the top level grades necessary for his college admissions. 3) Maturity - after our son returned home for Christmas break, we could not believe the improvement in his maturity in just 4 months. It was a completely different young man! More mature, but also more humble and more respectful of the fact that there are differences in cultures around the world. His experience has had a profound impact on his development as a fine young man.

This endorsement should not be misunderstood. This experience is not easy for many players, including our son. In his own words: “This has been a very, very challenging four months of my life. The most challenging by far! I have had to learn to be uncomfortable most of the time: the language is different; living in a dorm and sharing bathroom facilities is uncomfortable; doing my own laundry and adhering to a rigid schedule is tough; the food is different; the daily social situations are different and can be uncomfortable since the languages are different; the city, surroundings and culture is different and while existing, I have to learn to adapt to different ways of thinking; and I often feel homesick and question if you can train and compete at this level so many times per week. I train hard at every session just for the opportunity to get selected to play on the weekend. At home I always played every game so this is different - a constant challenge. but I LOVE it!” 

And the ability to succeed in these situations is what has made the experience so rewarding and life changing for him. It is, however, a decision one should consider very carefully. In our opinion, it has only been possible because of the amazing team at Michel Hidalgo Academy. Our experience has been completely positive for us as a family. Our son continues to improve in his French language skills, his outlook on life, and his focus towards, and refinement of, his soccer goals and life goals, both short term and long term. The staff at Michel Hidalgo academy have been so excellent and we are extremely happy with the overall experience! Bravo! Steve Kump, Nicholas father, from Canada Vancouver, U17 defender at FC Mougins R1

 Testimony 8

Luke has always been motivated by the sport of soccer, has desired to be immersed in soccer, and wanted to become the best player, at the highest level of playing possible. He was fortunate to have Stéphane Auvray as his coach and Stéphane served a significant role in his development. The Michel Hidalgo International Football Academy was recommended by Stéphane and it has in every way pushed Luke further along his path as both a player and a person! 

By having the perspective, expertise and multiple player advocates in both a Hidalgo coach, coupled with the RC Grasse coaching staff - Luke has been able to improve his game technically, tactically and mentally. The competition has helped him increase his speed and athleticism. Any feedback received is taken to heart and he works very diligently to correct or work on improvement based on the feedback. The schedules are rigorous but translate to the growth he is looking for. He has hours on a bus a day but has mentioned it also supports learning the language. So while there are challenges there are always positive results! He knows this is the best place for him at this moment and will continue to work hard in partnership with top notch coaching and peers that elevate his game.

While Luke’s growth on the field is measured and holistically evaluated in great detail (ongoing Hidalgo academy and club coach feedback), the personal development of him we’ve seen - as someone becoming an adult - is completely immeasurable and priceless. The mentoring in the classroom has helped him learn a new language and become more fluent. The gift of knowing how to speak French will be forever with him! As will all the friendships and genuine relationships that will certainly last a lifetime. We appreciate this experience, the learning opportunities and all that the staff and coaches have provided for Luke at the Michel Hidalgo International Football Academy! Lynn Hoelting, Luke's mother, from Kansas (USA). Luke, 18 years old, striker at RC Grasse U20 and R2

 Testimony 9

Merci beaucoup pour le partage des vidéos, ça fait vraiment plaisir de voir ces jeunes et je me dis que vous faites un très beau métier. Sincèrement j'aurais tout donné pour être avec vous à l'académie.  On voit que les jeunes sont très bien gâtés. En passant je ne cesserai de vous remercier pour votre dévouement vis à vis de Greg. Bravo à toute l'équipe pour tout le travail et vive l'académie HIDALGO ! Chapeau bas à l'équipe !  Joyce, maman de Greg, de l'Ile Maurice. U17, joueur au FC Mougins R1

 Testimony 10

Pour la 3ème année consécutive, c'est sans hésiter que nous renouvelons notre confiance en l’Académie Michel Hidalgo.

Après de nombreuses hésitations à envoyer notre fils vivre loin de nous, après maintes recherches pour trouver une structure sérieuse à qui nous pourrions confier notre fils, nous pouvons dire que nous avons avec l’Académie trouvé les réponses à nos préoccupations.

Selon nous, le point le plus important et le plus fort, est le « service à la carte » pour chaque jeune. A l'Académie, mon fils n'est pas un simple jeune adolescent lambda amoureux de foot et rêvant comme des milliers d'autres d'en faire sa profession… Il est Kerynn, avec ses besoins physiques spécifiques à consolider ou améliorer, avec ses exigences scolaires, avec ses doutes et ses rêves… Il est, comme les autres académiciens, un être à part entière qui a ses propres besoins. Merci à l'Académie, dans un monde matérialiste, de garder cette vision humaine et de proposer un accompagnement de qualité !   

L'Académie, c'est aussi un cadre de vie agréable, une équipe professionnelle et disponible, et surtout la réunion de jeunes provenant de divers horizons permettant de créer entre eux des liens de solidarité, d'ouverture, d'esprit de tolérance… Ces jeunes ont le même rêve en commun et se battent pour y arriver, je leur souhaite à tous de réussir ! »  Nathalie, mère de Kerynn, 16 ans, AS Cannes U17

 Testimony 11

« Un rêve qui pourrait devenir réalité ! Depuis son enfance, mon fils Mohamed Hachem rêve de devenir un jour un grand joueur. Après avoir passé par toutes les catégories, il a senti qu'il lui restait beaucoup de travail pour qu'il puisse atteindre le haut niveau. Alors on s'est adressé à l 'Académie de football Michel HIDALGO à Cannes.

J'ai décidé de me déplacer et voir de près les commodités et la prise en charge réservée aux académiciens. On a opté pour son inscription et c'est le début de la formation. Bien que mon fils ait tout laissé derrière lui, ses études, sa famille, pendant une période décisive pour son avenir, je n'ai pas hésité à le soutenir jusqu'au bout. Un programme chargé, bien étudié, étalé sur plusieurs phases, exécuté par un staff très sérieux, strict et sévère. Les moyens matériels ne manquent pas, même des salles de classe sont disponibles pour des cours de langue. Les entraînements et les matchs sont contrôlés de près, le hasard n'a pas sa place.

En dehors de ce climat, nous avons trouvé à travers la personne de Mme Laurence Potier non seulement la dame rigoureuse qui gère l'académie mais aussi la personne qui s'inquiète sur l’état psychologique et l’esprit de groupe de tous sans distinction. A travers les e-mails, j'ai senti que mon fils n'avait jamais vécu seul au sein de l'académie, mais entouré et accompagné par une équipe de travail qui mérite mes meilleures salutations. Je tiens à les remercier tous et je souhaite bon courage et bonne chance à mon fils. » Noureddine, père de Mohamed Hachem, 20 ans, Algérie, attaquant droit à l’ES Cannet-Rocheville

 Testimony 12

Je vous écris un message de remerciement et de soutien au staff de l'Académie Michel Hidalgo. Je suis le père du joueur Hamad Aref, j'ai une grande confiance en vous tous après 5 mois de début de travail dans l'Académie. J'ai visité l'académie en octobre pendant 15 jours et en même temps j'ai suivi mon fils Hamad. J’ai un très grand degré de satisfaction avec les employés, les responsables et les intervenants, et j’ai pu constater leur engagement, suivre la formation le matin et le soir, leur intérêt pour les études et l'enseignement de la langue française. En football, pour nous, le but est d'atteindre le très haut niveau et de servir l’équipe nationale des Emirats Arabes Unis. Quand l'un des responsables du club d'Al Ain a appris que Hamad s'entraînait à l'Académie Michel Hidalgo, avec grand plaisir il a déclaré : « Nous espérons qu'il continuera avec eux car ils ont une connaissance complète de ce qui constitue une académie ». Aref AL HAMMADI, from Emirates, Hamad’s father, 16 years old, striker at Mougins U18 R1

 Testimony 13

Voici deux ans que Ugo est inscrit à l’Académie et pas une seule fois, nous n’avons regretté ce choix. Il n’est pas évident de laisser partir loin son enfant aussi jeune (Ugo avait alors 15 ans), mais nous avons été très vite rassurés par le professionnalisme et le sérieux de l’Académie. Que ce soit sur le plan sportif, scolaire, médical, la prise en charge est excellente et l’accompagnement est individualisé. Nous recevons régulièrement des photos et vidéos des entraînements, des événements et des moments conviviaux qui nous permettent de partager la vie quotidienne de l’Académie. Ugo s’est très vite intégré et nous sommes vraiment très heureux de le voir progresser techniquement, gagner en maturité, et s’épanouir au fil des mois. Encore un grand merci à toute l’équipe pour sa disponibilité et son professionnalisme.  Caroline et Philippe, parents de Ugo, défenseur U16 AS Cannes

 Testimony 14

 « Si nous devions utiliser quelques mots pour résumer l’expérience de notre fils au sein de l’Académie Hidalgo et dire tout le bien que nous pensons de l’Académie, ainsi que du personnel et de la directrice qui contribuent au quotidien au bon fonctionnement de cette Académie, les onze premiers mots comme onze joueurs de football, qui nous viennent à l’esprit sont les suivants : 

1- Confiance  2- Dévouement  3- Sécurité  4- Partage  5- Plaisir  6- Travail  7- Respect  8- Disponibilité  9- Soutien  10- Football  11- Cannes

Avant de parler football, vivre pendant une année au sein de l’Académie Michel Hidalgo, c’est surtout une opportunité pour un adolescent, de côtoyer d’autres passionnés de football, venant du monde entier, de cultures et langues différentes, de créer des liens d’amitié et de se créer de magnifiques souvenirs. Car lorsque l’on arrive au bout du chemin, comme ce fut le cas de feu Monsieur Michel Hidalgo le 26 mars 2020, ce qu’il nous reste, ce sont les souvenirs, les bons souvenirs, les meilleurs moments.

L’Académie Michel Hidalgo, c’est aussi l’opportunité de créer un projet sur mesure en fonction du profil du joueur, en combinant une scolarité dans un lycée public français pour l’obtention du baccalauréat et de jouer dans un club d’élite comme l’AS Cannes ou un autre club partenaire de l’académie. Si l’adolescent souhaite avant tout devenir un joueur de football professionnel, il faut d’abord devenir un homme car la route est longue et nombreux sont ceux qui se sont perdus. L’Académie contribue totalement à cette réussite.

L’Académie Michel Hidalgo, c’est aussi vivre à Cannes, sur la Côte d’Azur, au Campus International de Cannes, lieu multiculturel où des personnes du monde entier viennent apprendre le français. L’Académie Michel Hidalgo, c’est finalement un beau voyage pour nos enfants, qui va leur donner envie de découvrir le monde. L’Académie Michel Hidalgo, c’est surtout Madame Laurence Potier, qui prend soin de tous les joueurs comme si c’étaient ses propres enfants, qui a la capacité de transformer chaque expérience en opportunité.

Un grand merci à feu Monsieur Michel Hidalgo, à Madame Laurence Potier la directrice, à Zino, Kamel, Amine et tous les autres intervenants. »  Samuel et Loredana, parents de Paolo, 18 ans, Suisse, arrière latéral à l’AS Cannes U19 nationaux