Participants
 
 
24
High-achieving former international from Europe and beyond
 
ABIDAL Éric ABIDAL Patrick MÜLLER Patrick MÜLLER
BONED Kike BONED  NJITAP Geremie NJITAP
BORDINGGAARD Keld BORDINGGAARD KEHL Viola ODEBRECHT
BOUREIMA Balima BOUREIMA OLIVEIRA Raí OLIVEIRA
ABIDAL Bruno CHEYROU OLIVEIRA Juninho PERNAMBUCANO
DABIZAS Nikos DABIZAS KEHL Bianca RECH
GOMES Nuno GOMES Jason ROBERTS
ISSA Pierre ISSA KEHL Simon ROLFES
KEHL Sebastian KEHL ROMANN Dan ROMANN
ABIDAL Christian KAREMBEU ROSETTI Roberto ROSETTI
LANDSTRÖM Jessica LANDSTRÖM TIHINEN Hannu TIHINEN
MPENZA Mbo MPENZA VERPAKOVSKIS Mãris VERPAKOVSKIS
 
 
 
 
Abidal
 
Éric ABIDAL
Born in 1979
 
Work history
  • Consultant, beIN Sports;
  • Marketing and sponsoring, Olympiacos Foundation;
  • President, Éric Abidal Foundation.
 
Football career        
  • Played for AS Lyon-Duchère, AS Monaco FC, Lille OSC,  Olympique Lyonnais, FC Barcelona and Olympiacos FC;
  • 67 caps for the French national team;
  • UEFA Champions League winner, 2009 and 2011; UEFA Super Cup winner, 2009 and 2011; FIFA Club World Cup winner, 2009 and 2011; three-time French league winner; four-time Spanish league winner; Greek league winner; two-time Spanish Cup winner; Greek Cup winner; part of the 2007 UEFA Team of the Year.
 
Languages
  • French
  • English
  • Spanish
 
 
 
 
Kike BONED
Born in 1978
 
Work history
  • Director, Olimpic Club sports centre, Murcia.
 
Futsal career        
  • Played for Vijusa Valencia FS, Talavera FS and ElPozo Murcia;
  • 180 caps for the Spanish national team;
  • Two-time FIFA World Cup winner; two-time FIFA World Cup runner-up; five-time UEFA European Championship winner; UEFA Super Cup winner; four-time Spanish national futsal league (LNFS) winner; three-time LNFS Spanish Cup winner; three-time LNFS Spanish Super Cup winner; four-time Murcia football federation Presidents Cup winner; three-time best LNFS player; seven-time LNFS best defender; Futsal Planet Awards best player 2009; 2012 FIFA World Cup Silver Ball Award winner.
 
Languages
 
English, Spanish
 
 
Education
  • Currently studying for:
  • diploma in business studies, University of Murcia;
  • advanced sports technician higher level, with a specialisation in futsal;
  • master’s degree in sports management, Spanish Olympic Committee;
  • advanced qualification in leadership and team management.
 

Other activities

  • Given various presentations for international companies;
  • Contributed to publications on sport and business.
 
 
 
Abidal
 
Keld BORDINGGAARD
Born in 1962
 
Work history
  • Assistant coach, 1. FSV Mainz 05, Germany; Head coach, Silkeborg IF; Head coach, Danish Under-21s; Head of the A+ project (a player development programme supported by the Danish FA); Assistant coach, Danish senior team; Head coach, Vejle BK; Assistant coach, Vejle BK;   TV consultant.
 
Football career        
  • Played for Silkeborg IF, Odense BK, Vejle BK, Panionios GSS and Wichita Wings; 4 caps for the Danish senior team; Winner of the Claus Rode Award, an award given to people whose work has developed, inspired or in other ways improved Danish football.
 
Languages
  • Danish
  • English
  • German
 
Education
  • UEFA Pro licence;
  • Bachelor’s degree in scientific physical education,  University of Southern Denmark (in progress).
 

Other activities

  • Project development for the national football centre in Denmark.
 
 
 
 
Balima BOUREIMA
Born in 1955
 
Work history
  • Technical inspector, deputy chief executive’s office, postal service,  Burkina Faso;
  • Advisor, Burkinabe embassy, Washington DC;
  • Attaché, Burkinabe embassy, Accra;
  • Manager, national postal service office, Burkina Faso;
  • Member of the Burkinabe national assembly;
  • Second vice-president of the Afro-Arab parliament in Syria.
 
Football career        
  • Played for Etoile Filante de Ouagadougou;
  • 52 caps for the Burkinabe national team;
  • As a player: three-time Burkinabe national champion; three-time Burkinabe Cup winner; Burkinabé SuperCup winner;
  • As a coach: four-time Burkinabe national champion, two-time Burkinabe Cup winner.
 
Languages
  • French
  • English
  • More
  • Hausa
  • Ashanti
 
Education
  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a specialisation in human resources, University of the District of Columbia, Washington DC;
  • Training on innovation and postal services, Ecole des Postes de Rotterdam;
  • Coaching diploma, FUTURO II;
  • Inspector of postal services and financial resources diploma,  Ecole Nationale des Postes et Télécommunications, Paris.
 
 
 
Bruno CHEYROU
Born in 1978
 
Work history
  • Football consultant, BeIN Sports;
  • Sport director, FC Nantes.
 
Football career        
  • Played for FC Nantes, Anorthosis Famagousta FC, Stade Rennais FC,  FC Girondins de Bordeaux, Olympique de Marseille, Liverpool FC,  Lille OSC and RC Lens;
  • Three caps for the French national team;
  • Two-time French league winner
 
Languages
  • French
  • English
  • Spanish
  • Italian
 
Education
  • University diploma to become a general manager in sports organisations, Centre for the Law and Economics of Sport, Limoges;
  • BTEC Higher National Diploma in marketing.
 
 
 
 
Nikos DABIZAS
Born in 1973
 
Work history
  • Sporting director, Panathinaikos FC.
 
Football career        
  • Played for Pontioi Verias, Olympiacos FC, Newcastle United FC,  Leicester City FC and AEL Limassol FC;
  • 70 caps for the Greek national team;
  • UEFA EURO 2004 winner; two-time Greek national champion;  Greek Cup winner.
 
Languages
  • Greek
  • English
 
Education
  • UEFA Pro licence..
 
 
 
Nuno GOMES
Born in 1976
 
Work history
  • International advisor to the president of SL Benfica.
 
Football career        
  • Played for Amarante FC, Boavista FC, SL Benfica, ACF Fiorentina,  SC Braga and Blackburn Rovers FC;
  • 79 caps for the Portuguese national team;
  • Played in the 2002 FIFA World Cup; 2006 FIFA World Cup semi-finalist; UEFA EURO 2000 semi-finalist; UEFA EURO 2004 runner-up; played in UEFA EURO 2008; played in the 1996 Olympic Games; two-time Portuguese national champion; two-time Portuguese Cup winner;  three-time League Cup winner; Italian Cup winner.
 
Languages
 
  • Portuguese
  • English
  • Italian
 
Education
  • Top executive MBA in management and leadership, Autonomous Business School, Lisbon;
  • Currently in the second year of a degree in administration and sports management at the Autonomous University of Lisbon.
 
 
 
 
Pierre ISSA
Born in 1975
 
Work history
  • Sport director, Olympiacos FC;
  • Sports agent for professional football players.
 
Football career        
  • Played for Olympique de Marseille, Chelsea FC, Watford FC,  Olympic Beirut, Ionikos FC and Ofi Crete FC;
  • 55 caps for the South African national team;
  • Played in the FIFA World Cup in 1998 and 2002; played in the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000, 2002 and 2004; Lebanese premier league winner; Lebanese FA Cup winner.
 
Languages
  • French
  • English
  • Arabic
 
 
 
Christian KAREMBEU
Born in 1970
 
Work history
  • Olympiacos FC
  • Member of the ‘Champions for Peace’ club
 
Football career        
  • Played for FC Nantes, UC Sampdoria, Real Madrid CF, Middlesbrough FC, Olympiacos FC, Servette FC and SC Bastia;
  • 53 caps for the French national team;
  • 1998 FIFA World Cup winner; 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup winner; UEFA EURO 2000 winner; 1998 UEFA Champions League winner;  French national champion; Greek national champion.
 
Languages
  • French
  • English
  • Spanish
  • Italian
 
Education
  • Educated to baccalaureate level.
 
 
 
 
Sebastian KEHL
Born in 1980
 
Work history
  • Executive Committee member of the German players’ union; 
 
Football career        
  • Played for Hannover 96, SC Freiburg and Borussia Dortmund;
  • 31 caps for the German national team;
  • 2002 FIFA World Cup runner-up; third place in the 2006 FIFA World Cup; third place in the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup; 2002 UEFA Cup  runner-up; played in UEFA EURO 2004; 2013 UEFA Champions League runner-up; three-time German national champion;  German DFB Cup winner.
 
Languages
  • German
  • English
 
Other activites
  • Member of several youth soccer foundations and foundations against racism and child prostitution.
 
 
 
 
Abidal
 
Jessica LANDSTRÖM
Born in 1984
 
Work history
  • Quality controller, Betongindustri AB;
  • Administrator, ENN Advokatbyra;
  • Youth coach, Hammarby IF DFF;
  • Train conductor, Roslagstag AB.
 
Football career        
  • Played for Kopparberg/Gøteborg FC, Djurgardens IF, 1. FFC Frankfurt, Sky Blue FC and Hammarby IF DFF;
  • 64 caps for the Swedish national team;
  • Third place in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup; played in UEFA Women’s EURO 2009; played in the 2008 Olympic Games; UEFA Women’s Champions League runner-up; Swedish national champion; German DFB Cup winner; Swedish Cup winner; voted 2009 player of the year by the Swedish elite women’s referees; voted 2008 breakthrough of the year at the Swedish Football Awards.
 
Languages
  • Swedish
  • English
  • German
 
Education
  • Master’s degree in mechanical engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (in progress);
  • Course in psychology, University of Gothenburg;
  • Course in German, VHS Frankfurt;
  • Course in industrial economics, Linköping University;
  • Technical preparatory, KTH Royal Institute of Technology;
  • Coach, Swedish Football Association.
 
 
 
 
Abidal
 
Mbo MPENZA
Born in 1976
 
Work history
  • Ambassador, Football Against Racism in Europe;
  • Honorary president of L’extrascolaire au Coeur de l’intégration;
  • Manager, MMP SPRL.
 
Football career        
  • Played for KV Kortrijk, R. Excelsior Mouscron, R. Standard de Liège, Sporting Clube de Portugal, Galatasaray AŞ, RSC Anderlecht  and Larissa FC;
  • 56 caps for the Belgian national team;
  • Played in the FIFA World Cup, 1998 and 2002; played in UEFA EURO 2000; Portuguese national champion; two-time Belgian national champion; Belgian Cup winner; two-time Belgian Super Cup winner
 
Languages
  • French
  • English
  • Dutch
 
Education
  • Baccalaureate in physical education
 
 
 
 
Abidal
 
Patrick MÜLLER
Born in 1976
 
Work history
  • Football Education Assistant, UEFA;
  • Operations Assistant, UEFA.
 
Football career        
  • Played for Servette FC, Grasshopper Club Zürich, Olympique Lyonnais, RCD Mallorca, FC Basel 1893 and AS Monaco FC;
  • 81 caps for the Swiss national team;
  • Played in the 2006 FIFA World Cup; played in UEFA EURO 2004 and 2008; six-time French national champion; French Cup winner;  two-time Swiss national champion.
 
Languages
  • French
  • German
  • English
 
Education
  • Diploma from the André-Chavanne business school, Geneva;
  • Coaching diploma for youth football, Geneva.
 
 
 
Abidal
 
Geremie NJITAP
Born in 1978
 
Work history
  • Vice-president of Cameroon’s national footballers’ union, in charge of human resources, public relations and direct communication with Cameroonian professional footballers;
  • Member of the FIFPro Technical Committee;
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the Cameroonian Football Association.
 
Football career        
  • Played for RC Bafoussam, Cerro Porteño, Gençlerbirliği SK, Real Madrid CF, Middlesbrough FC, Chelsea FC, MKE Ankaragücü and Larissa FC;
  • 110 caps for the Cameroonian national team;
  • Two-time Africa Cup of Nations winner; 2000 Olympic Games gold medallist; two-time UEFA Champions League winner; three-time English national champion; Spanish national champion; Cameroonian premier league winner; English League Cup winner; FA Cup winner;  FA Community Shield winner; Spanish Super Cup winner;  Cameroonian Cup winner; nominated for the 2000 FIFA Ballon d’Or.
 
Languages
  • French
  • English
  • Spanish
 
 
 
 
Abidal
 
Viola ODEBRECHT
Born in 1983
 
Work history
  • Administrator, VfL Wolfsburg;
  • Tutor, the European Sports Academy, Brandenburg;
  • Sales and marketing assistant, Hyapur Deutschland GmbH;
  • Internship with the Social Democratic Party of Germany;
  • Internship with the German association for disabled sport.
 
Football career        
  • Played for VfL Wolfsburg, 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam, SC 07 Bad Neuenahr, FCR 2001 Duisburg, Valur Reykjavík, Florida State University and SV Nagema Neubrandenburg;
  • 49 caps for the German national team;
  • 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup winner; third place at the 2004 Olympic Games; four-time UEFA Women’s Champions League winner; seven-time German national champion; Icelandic national champion; four-time German Cup winner.
 
Languages
  • German
  • English
 
Education
  • Diploma in sports science (main focus on sports economics  and marketing), German Sport University Cologne.
 
 
 
Abidal
 
Raí OLIVEIRA
Born in 1965
 
Work history
  • Founder and president, Gol de Letra foundation;
  • Founder and vice-president, Atletas Pelo Brasil;
  • Founder and partner, Raí+Velasco;
  • Training and education manager, Sao Paulo FC.
 
Football career        
  • Played for Botafogo FC, Sao Paulo FC and Paris Saint-Germain;
  • 51 caps for the Brazilian national team;
  • 1994 FIFA World Cup winner; 1996 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup winner; Copa Libertadores winner in 1992 and 1993; 1992 Intercontinental Cup winner; French national champion; Brazilian league winner; five-time São Paulo state league winner; two-time French Cup winner; two-time French League Cup winner; 1992 South American footballer  of the year; winner at the 2012 Laureus World Sports Awards;  captain of the Brazilian national team.
 
Languages
  • Portuguese
  • French
  • English
  • Spanish
 
Education
  • First year of a bachelor’s degree in history, Barão de Mauá University;
  • First year of a bachelor’s degree in physical education, UNAERP University;
  • FA International Coaching Licence course;
  • Various short-term philosophy courses.
 

Other activities

  • Given more than 150 lectures on subjects including leadership, motivation, how to manage conflicts and work atmosphere;
  • Written various publications, including two football books  and one children’s fiction book.
 
 
 
Abidal
 
Juninho PERNAMBUCANO
Born in 1975
 
Work history
  • Consultant, Globo TV, Brazil
 
Football career        
  • Played for SC Recife, CR Vasco da Gama, Olympique Lyonnais,  Al Gharafa SC and New York Red Bulls;
  • 44 caps for the Brazilian national team;
  • 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup winner; seven-time French national champion; French Cup winner; French Champions’ Trophy winner.
 
Languages
  • Portuguese
  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
 
 
 
Abidal
 
Bianca RECH
Born in 1981
 
Work history
  • Team management, 1. FC Köln GmbH & Co. KGaA; Head of administration, FC Viktoria Köln 1904 e.V.; Assistant coach, 1. FC Köln women’s team, first and second division; Assistant general coordinator, FIFA Women’s World Cup, Canada; Team liaison manager, Team New Zealand, FIFA Women’s World Cup, Germany; Fitness coach and personal trainer, Just Fit GmbH & Co, Köln; Sport soldier, German army Sportfördergruppe; Project assistant, Proxenos GmbH; Marketing assistant, Arena One GmbH; Soccer camp coordinator and coach,  Los Angeles.
 
Football career        
  • Played for 1. FC Köln, FC Bayern München, Sunnanå SK, 1. FFC Frankfurt, SC 07 Bad Neuenahr and SG Westum Löhndorf; 20 caps for the German national team; 2002 UEFA Women’s Champions League winner;  German national champion; German Cup winner.
 
Languages
  • German
  • English
  • Spanish
 
Education
  • Diploma in sports management, University of Applied Sciences,  Schmalkalden;
  • Certificate in sports sponsoring, IST Institute, Dusseldorf;
  • Certificate in commercialisation and sport events, IST Institute,  Dusseldorf;
  • Bachelor’s degree in sport facility management and operations, IST Institute, Dusseldorf;
  • A-level coaching licence, German Football Association.
 
 
 
 
Abidal
 
Jason ROBERTS
Born in 1978
 
Work history
  • Founder and chairman, Jason Roberts Foundation; Founding member, Get on Board course; Founding member, Sports People’s Think Tank; Committee member, Professional Footballers’ Association Management Committee; Panel member, BBC Sports Personality of the Year; Advisor, BBC Diversity Committee; Leader of media outlets and presenter for BBC Sport’s Match of the Day, World Have Your Say and BBC Radio 5 live’s 606 football phone-in.
 
Football career        
  • Played for Hayes FC, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, Torquay United FC, Bristol City FC, Blackburn Rovers FC, West Bromwich Albion FC, Portsmouth FC, Wigan Athletic FC and Reading FC;
  • 16 caps for the Grenada national team;
  • 2012 English national championship winner.
 
Languages
  • English
 
Education
  • An introduction to business studies, Open University, UK;
  • Corporate governance qualification, Association of Corporate Governance Practitioners.
  • Other activities
  • Invited attendee, FIFA Task Force against Racism and Discrimination.
 
 
 
Abidal
 
Dan ROMANN
Born in 1982
 
Work history
  • Assistant coach and analyst for the Under-19 squad, Maccabi Tel-Aviv.
 
Football career        
  • Played for Hapoel Jerusalem FC, Hakoah Maccabi Amidor Ramat Gan, Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC, Maccabi Petah-Tikva FC, Hapoel Ramat Gan FC, SC Veendam, Beitar Tel-Aviv Ramla FC and Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem FC; Toto Cup winner.
 
Languages
  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Dutch
  • French
 
Education
  • Bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology, combined with  a general degree in humanities, Tel Aviv University;
  • Master’s degree in humanities, Tel Aviv University (in progress);
  • UEFA B diploma, Israel Football Association;
  • UEFA A diploma, Israel Football Association (in progress).
 

Other activities

  • Co-founder and voluntary committee member of the New Israeli Football Players Organisation.
 
 
 
Abidal
 
Simon ROLFES
Born in 1982
 
Work history
  • Chairman, Real Estate Company Olympia Buildings AG;
  • Founder, partner and CEO, S. Rolfes & M. Elsässer GmbH;
  • Member of the economic advisory board of the Mittelrhein football association;
  • Member of the Players‘ Committee of the German players‘ union.
 
Football career        
  • Played for SV Werder Bremen, SSV Reutlingen, TSV Alemmania Aachen and Bayer 04 Leverkusen;
  • 26 caps for the German national team;
  • UEFA EURO 2008 runner-up; German national championship runner-up; German Cup runner-up; captain of Bayer 04 Leverkusen for seven years.
 
Languages
  • German
  • English
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Latin
 
Education
  • Master’s degree in sports management, University of Applied Sciences, Koblenz (in progress).
 

Other activities

  • Given more than 150 lectures on subjects including leadership, motivation, how to manage conflicts and work atmosphere;
  • Written various publications, including two football books  and one children’s fiction book.
 
 
 
Abidal
 
Roberto ROSETTI
Born in 1967
 
Work history
  • UEFA referee observer, referee coach and instructor and Referee Convention advisor; Chairman of the Italian Serie B Referee Committee; Chairman of the Italian Serie C Referee Committee; Head of the refereeing department, Russian Football Union; National advisor, Italian National Union of Kinesiology; Technical director and head of rehabilitation, Turin; Teacher, SUISM (University of Sports Sciences/Physical Education), Turin; Head of public relations and marketing and communications director, San Giuseppe Benedetto Cottolengo hospital, Turin; Financial consultant, Banca Fideuram. 
 
Refereeing career        
  • 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final; 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cup round of 16; FIFA Under-20 World Cup, 2003 to 2009; UEFA EURO 2008 opening game and final; Three UEFA Champions League semi-finals; 2009 FIFA Club World Cup semi-final; Serie A referee, 1996 to 2010;  Serie A referee of the year, 2006 to 2009; 2008 International Federation of Football History and Statistics best referee in the world.
 
Languages
  • Italian
  • French
  • English
 
Education
  • Degree in sports management, University Claude Bernard Lyon; Degree in sports and physical sciences, SUISM, Turin; Master’s degree in sports management and marketing, SDA Bocconi university, Milan;  Master’s degree for executives of health companies, Milan.
 

Other activities

  • Author of the book Nessuno parla dell’arbitro (Nobody talks  about the referee).
 
 
 
Abidal
 
Hannu TIHINEN
Born in 1976
 
Work history
  • Technical director (head of player development), Football Association  of Finland; President of the Finnish players’ union; Assistant director,  FC Zürich.
 
Football career        
  • Played for Kemin Palloseura, HJK Helsinki, Viking FK, West Ham United FC, RSC Anderlecht and FC Zürich;
  • 76 caps for the Finnish national team;
  • Finnish national champion; two-time Belgian champion; two-time Swiss champion; Finnish Cup winner; Norwegian Cup winner; voted best defender in the Finnish league in 1999 and best defender in the Axpo Super League in 2009; captain of the Finnish national team.
 
Languages
  • Finnish
  • English
  • Swedish
  • German
  • Norwegian
  • French
  • Flemish
 
Education
  • UEFA A, B, C and D licence;
  • Training in organisation leadership, Aalto Open University, Espoo;
  • UEFA Certificate in Football Management, Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration, University of Lausanne.
 

Other activities

  • Board member of the Finnish Olympic Committee;
  • Board member of the Urhea sport academy of Southern Finland;
  • Member of the UEFA Development and Technical Assistance Committee.
 
 
 
Abidal
 
Mãris VERPAKOVSKIS
Born in 1979
 
Work history
  • Manager, Latvian national team;
  • Chairman of the board, FK Liepāja.
 
Football career        
  • Played for FK Liepājas, Skonto FC, FC Dynamo Kyiv, Getafe CF, HNK Hajduk Split, RC Celta de Vigo, Ergotelis FC and FC Baku;
  • 104 caps for the Latvian national team;
  • Three-time Latvian national champion; Ukrainian national champion; three-time Latvian Cup winner; two-time Ukrainian Cup winner; Azerbaijani Cup winner; four-time Baltic Cup winner; 2004 Latvian sports personality of the year of the year; 2004 FC Dynamo Kyiv player of the year; Latvian footballer of the year in 2003 and 2004; top scorer in the history of the national team.
 
Languages
  • Latvian
  • Russian
  • English
  • Spanish
  • Croatian
 
Education
  • First year of a bachelor’s degree in economics, Riga International School of Economics  and Business Administration.