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The UEFA women's football development programme has a new ambassador in Paris Saint-Germain and France defender Laura Georges – and she has already begun her mission at a tournament in Latvia.
Georges, 29, has been capped more than 100 times by France, and in a six-year spell at Olympique Lyonnais between 2007 and 2013 won the title every season, plus the 2011 and 2012 UEFA Women's Champions League finals. Georges joins former Germany defender Steffi Jones, appointed the first ambassador in 2011, and was present in Latvia to talk to their national youth teams at last weekend's Baltic tournament.
"This gives you an idea of what it is like to be an UEFA ambassador for youth development in women's football," Georges told UEFA.com. "We exchanged a lot of ideas with the youngsters and it was very enriching and very nice to meet these young Latvian girls."
Her new position has given Georges cause to look back at her own first days playing football. "Personally, I am lucky enough to have grown up in the park surrounding Versailles Palace, because my dad worked there," she said. "So every evening, or when I didn't have school, I went and played on the grass around the palace. It was the most simple sport – I just needed a ball and I could play on my own or play with my neighbours and brothers."
Having grown up idolising Lilian Thuram, Georges is "lucky enough to count him as a friend today" and also knows that thanks to the UEFA Women's Champions League, future girl footballers in France could well have female playing heroes.
"When people talk about the Champions League, I hope people think about Olympique Lyonnais, about players like Lotta Schelin, players like Camille Abily and many more," Georges said. "Of course, I think that little girls watching the Champions League will think about players who have shone in this competition."
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