Éric Abidal
President, Éric Abidal Foundation,
and consultant, beIN SPORTS

 
“I decided to join this programme because I knew it would enable me to prepare for my future career. Before, I was always afraid that people saw me only as an elite player. The UEFA MIP has helped me to become more confident, to increase my professional knowledge and to gain more credibility as a future manager.”
 

Bianca Rech
Team management sports - women’s football department, FC Bayern München

 
“The UEFA MIP is something unique. It is not about getting knowledge from a usual university, it is much more! The team spirit we live every day with the fellow participants is very inspirational. We love football, we are teammates and you can feel it in every session.
During this programme, I have been through a real personal and professional developing path. I have realised how much my skills that I gained as a professional player are important and how I have managed to transform them into managerial skills.”
 

Patrick Müller 
Football education assistant, UEFA

 
“This master has given me a clear understanding of the economic and institutional framework of European professional sport. All the knowledge that I gained during the UEFA MIP makes me more confident. Moreover, the outstanding level of speakers and the strong team spirit that we built with the other participants meant I enjoyed every session a lot.”
 

Nuno Gomes
International advisor to the president, SL Benfica

 
“Being part of the UEFA MIP is an amazing adventure. I needed to meet more people who were having the same experience as me: once you were an elite player, but what happens next? I realised during different group projects that I and the other participants, who come from different cultures and have different views on football, could come up with amazing ideas together that inspired me for my future projects. The UEFA MIP was a great opportunity to increase our knowledge, thanks to the enriching presentations by outstanding lecturers.” 
 

Jessica Landström 
Master’s student in production engineering and management,
KTH royal institute of technology

 
“The UEFA MIP was a great opportunity to combine my experience from my career as a professional athlete with my academic skills and ambitions. During the sessions I was able to expand my professional network and my understanding of management and get to know my fellow UEFA MIP students, which was very enriching. In addition, I had many opportunities to improve my presentation and teamwork skills through the assignments.”
 

Sebastian Kehl 
Executive committee member, German players’ union

 
“When I stopped my career as a professional player, I was looking for new challenges! The goal was to find my new professional path. I knew that I had a lot of experience as a leader in a team, but I wanted to increase my skills, my knowledge and continue to develop! Therefore, the UEFA MIP was the right solution for me to start! This programme is tailor-made for former players with a lot of active learning, practical exercises and real-life situations.”
 

Geremie Njitap
Executive committee member, Cameroonian Football
Association, and president, Cameroonian players’ union

 
“The UEFA MIP is all about confidence, achievements and leadership! Not only did it confirm my decision to pursue a career in football management, it also provided me with the tools I need to work at the highest level of football administration. One crucial thing I learned was the importance of working with competent people in each area, and applying this today in my work has provided me with great results and more importantly a lot of self-confidence.”
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Edwin van der Sar
ECA Executive Board Member,
European Club Association & AFC Ajax

 
“As a player, you learn a lot of things during your career, which can be eventually transferred into the football administration. One of them, of great importance, is the team spirit, which stands for solidarity, responsibility and leadership. This new education programme – UEFA MIP – makes use of this responsibility. It offers former top players a chance to develop a leading role in a new team once they hang up their boots. Education and exchange of information are two key resources that can provide club managers with certain ideas, concepts and answers to their questions. I am convinced that players can make a difference by being involved in football administration and shape a better football also off the pitch.”
 

Bobby Barnes 
President, FIFPro Division Europe

 
“Football is constantly evolving and is, as such, a permanent challenge. Given the complexity of the issues at stake, I truly believe that all members of the football family must cooperate and understand their respective positions. As a former player and president of FIFPro Division Europe, I have come to realise how important it is to have a clear and robust understanding of the environment we are operating in. By welcoming participants from different organisations, this programme will foster collaboration in the daily work of all sorts of football stakeholders.”
 

Dejan Savićević
President, Football Association of Montenegro

 
“I believe that for us, football players who had good careers and who played in great clubs, it is much easier to make a plan, programme and priorities for a football organisation, since we have been in football since our early days and that has been our great advantage compared with those who engage in football for the first time after obtaining a university or master’s degree.”
 

Steffi Jones
Director of women’s football, German Football Association

 
“Winning international competitions and laying the foundations for hosting them are two different things. UEFA is actively encouraging players to plan ahead for their second careers so that football can mould that vast experience on the field for the benefit of the sport’s future. You need the basis of a good team whether you are playing or working in the management of football, but alongside team spirit, you need the skills to succeed.” 
 

Ioan Lupescu 
Chief technical officer, UEFA

 
“Whether playing in a FIFA World Cup quarter-final or working at a high level in football administration, the impact you can make on football is significant. However, the skills that you need to excel in both spheres are not always the same; only a love of the sport on the field unites them. Developing the tools to succeed in football management can always be beneficial for a second career and also richly rewarding in giving something back to the sport.”
 

Davor Šuker  
President, Croatian Football Federation

 
“You need, at least, a basic knowledge of finances and accounting, marketing, strategic management and human resources management. But, since you have so many different stakeholders who are deeply involved with your organisation, there are many additional skills needed to successfully deal with all of them. You need certain political skills and strong interpersonal skills, including communication, delegation and motivation. There are also certain football-specific skills and knowledge which I am lucky to have, having played at a high level in my career. Providing us with an overview of the important managerial skills specific to football is very important.”
 

Zinédine Zidane  
Coach of Real Madrid Castilla

 
Why did I decide to follow this course at the Centre de Droit et d’Économie du Sport? Quite simply because, at that time, I was working in Madrid, as sporting director for the Real Madrid A team. Players had told me about the course, and I had also just recently met Jean-Pierre Karaquillo, who persuaded me to apply. I believed it would help me to learn the ropes faster so didn’t think twice. 
What struck me during the course was the quality of the speakers and the fruitful discussions we had. Thanks to the incredible experience they brought to the table, the interaction between speakers and participants was fantastic!
I must also single out two people – Gérard Coudert and Jean-Pierre Karaquillo – for their humility, integrity and respect, and for their desire to share their knowledge, all the while adapting to us.
I also really appreciated the opportunities I had to share experiences with the other students from other sports. This was excellent, too!  
It really is a great idea to open up this course to international players in English and adapt to the globalised world we live in.
But the most important thing, and the aspect I appreciated the most, is the human values I encountered.