Football stars go back to school

The second edition of the Executive Master for International Players has kicked off with the first session of the course taking place in Nyon this week.

The first day at school is always an exciting time and no matter what players have achieved on the pitch, there was a sense of acute anticipation as a collection of renowned names gathered at UEFA to start the next chapter in their football lives.

What is the MIP?
The UEFA Executive Master for International Players (MIP) is about equipping high-profile internationals with the tools to transfer their playing strengths into effective management skills that will ultimately benefit football.

Leadership, discipline and a commitment to high-level performance are the hallmarks of trophy winners and the programme ensures that after leaving the pitch these skills don’t go to waste but instead are utilised to benefit the world of football.

At the induction day for the second edition of the MIP, the participants were excited about going back to the classroom:

Maxwell – Brazil
"We’ve never had the chance to study before, we were always focused on playing and playing takes up a lot of your time. To have people understand how football works, how football business works, we can give back to UEFA based on our experience as players and UEFA can give us all the tools and the information we need to make the game better."

©UEFA.com

Eniola Aluko – England
"My expectations are to learn a lot more about the technical side of the business side of sport. I think that as football players, we may think that we know quite a lot, and we've had a lot of experiences both on and off the pitch, but in terms of the managerial and leadership aspects of sport, I have a lot to learn. So, hopefully I can learn strategies in terms of business strategies, how to manage projects, how to lead, how to deal with conflicts in club environments and in sports governance: all those kinds of things are things that I'm really excited to learn."

©UEFA.com

While kicking off their first session of the MIP programme in Nyon, the football players also had a chance to attend the graduation of the first edition and to exchange ideas and experiences with the likes of Eric Abidal, Bianca Rech, Sebastian Kehl, and Numo Gomes. They also had a chance to do what they all love the best: play a game of football.

Why does UEFA invest in education?

UEFA cares passionately about the long-term health of European football. That is why UEFA is creating opportunities for those who work in football organisations, or have served the game through playing, coaching, refereeing etc., seeking to enhance their lives in positive ways. Only by investing in people who work in football, will the game sustain its growth and development.

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