Barbadians will get the opportunity to listen to and rub shoulders with some of football’s greats when the Soccerex Americas Forum comes off at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on October 21 and 22.
As well as providing a unique platform from which the football industry can learn, network and do business, Soccerex events traditionally involve discussions with some of the game’s all time greats and this year’s Americas forum will be no different, featuring Argentina’s Ossie Ardiles and England’s John Barnes and Bryan Robson, three legends that have made huge impressions both in the Premier League and on the international stage. They will be featured on the final afternoon of the forum.
Such is Robson’s undying legacy at Old Trafford that many consider him the best player to wear the club’s iconic No. 7 shirt, the same shirt worn by the likes of David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and George Best. After retiring in 1997, Robson has managed the likes of West Bromwich Albion and the Thailand national team; however, he now works as an international ambassador for Manchester United.
An immediate cult hero amongst the Spurs faithful following his arrival in 1978, Ardiles was one of the original foreign imports to the English league. Having won the World Cup with Argentina, Ossie made the move to North London where he spent a decade, winning two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup in 1984. The Argentine also featured in the American Soccer League, playing for Ft Lauderdale Strikers in 1989.
An awesome blend of strength and skill, the Jamaican born John Barnes will go down in Liverpool history as one of the best players to pull on the red shirt. Barnes succeeded Ian Rush as captain in the mid-1990s and nurtured the likes of Robbie Fowler and Jamie Redknapp’s careers. Since retiring from the game in 1999, Barnes has continued his desire to nurture young talents and returned home to manage Jamaica in 2008 before moving back to England a year later.
Soccerex chief executive officer Duncan Revie commented: “Whilst there is always a focus on business at Soccerex events, it is important to remember that there would be no business without football. We are delighted to honour the playing side of the game by welcoming Bryan, John and Ossie to our Americas forum and I am sure their presence will appeal to the football fan present in so many of us.”
Robson, Ardiles and Barnes will be three of a number of high profile speakers at the Americas Forum with industry leaders such as CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, MLS Medical co-ordinator John Gallucci, former FA and Arsenal vice chairman David Dein and FIFA & CONCACAF ExCo member Sonia Bien-Anne joining former Chelsea and Holland striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink among many others.