Coaches and technical directors from all 53 UEFA member associations are in Madrid this week for a UEFA conference which will analyse trends from this summer's FIFA World Cup finals.
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UEFA is bringing together the national-team coaches and technical directors from UEFA's 53 member associations for the 9th UEFA Conference for European National Team Coaches, hosted by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) in Madrid from Monday to Wednesday.
The event has become a fixture on the UEFA calendar since it was first staged in 1994, with the European technical community meeting every two years since, following a FIFA World Cup or UEFA European Championship final round. This time around in Madrid, the coaches will be looking back at the recent World Cup finals in South Africa.
"It's extremely appropriate that Madrid is hosting the conference," said UEFA technical director Andy Roxburgh, "given that Spain are world and European champions at the present time." UEFA president Michel Platini is set to welcome the coaches, and RFEF president Ángel María Villar Llona, who is also a FIFA and UEFA vice-president, will attend the conference.
Among the topics to be covered by delegates will be the 2010 World Cup from a European perspective, the success of Europe's teams in South Africa and the experience that the tournament gave the coaches. Particular tribute will be paid to Spain, who won the competition, the Netherlands, who finished runners-up, and Germany, who finished third.
Also on the agenda will be World Cup statistics and awards, a presentation on the Spanish football school – focusing on the astute development work which has bred Spain's outstanding successes of late – and a debate on the future of international football.
"The conference aims to reflect on the event which has just finished," Roxburgh said. "We look at the trends in relation to the future, in terms of both the European Championship and the UEFA Champions League. It's an opportunity for the coaches to get together to exchange ideas and viewpoints in a relaxed atmosphere."
Two coaches at the event have particular cause for pride – Spain's Vicente Del Bosque and Italy's Marcello Lippi have won both the World Cup and UEFA Champions League as coaches. Other coaches who led teams at the 2010 World Cup – such as Bert van Marwijk (Netherlands) and Joachim Löw (Germany) – will also give their views on the reasons behind their team's success in South Africa.