Manuel Quaresma, who has died at the age of 49, served Portuguese football for almost three decades.
European football is mourning the loss of Manuel Quaresma, general secretary of the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) and assistant tournament director of UEFA EURO 2004™, who died at the weekend aged 49.
"I have just lost a great friend as well as an excellent professional," said FPF vice-president Amândio de Carvalho. "He was somebody who completely devoted himself to his job for almost 30 years."
Quaresma joined the FPF on the last day of February 1977 and started his rise through the ranks of Portuguese football's governing body by working in the finance department. From there, he moved to the youth teams and was eventually appointed chief of services to the technical department. On 1 February 2003 he was officially appointed as FPF general secretary, taking on a role he had already performing for some months due to the unavailability of António Sequeira.
Quaresma was one of the chief organisers of two of the most successful footballing events held in Portugal: the 2003 UEFA European Under-17 Championship, where he was tournament director, and EURO 2004™, where he was assistant tournament director.
"It will be certainly very difficult to fill the void left by Manuel Quaresma," said Amândio de Carvalho. "He was part of the FPF staff for almost three decades and it was the right choice by [FPF president] Dr Gilberto Madaíl to give him the general secretary's job. He was highly regarded within European football and his role was supposed to be even more important in the future, especially after Dr Madaíl was appointed to the UEFA Executive Committee."
UEFA Chief Executive Officer Lars-Christer Olsson said: "Manuel Quaresma was a man dedicated to football and as assistant tournament director was one of the key players in the team that helped to make EURO 2004™ the success it was. On behalf of UEFA and the European football family I extend our sincere condolences to his family."