Some of Europe's top coaches gathered at UEFA headquarters in Nyon to discuss key topics ahead of the new club season and reflect on developments last term.
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Elite European coaches have met with UEFA in Nyon to discuss trends in the game and propose ideas.
Chaired by UEFA Coaching Ambassador Sir Alex Ferguson, the tacticians gathered to debate developments in last season's UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, many of which were based on UEFA's technical reports.
UEFA chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina led discussions on the Laws of the Game and reiterated the governing body's stance on showing respect to match officials. Supported by UEFA President Michel Platini, who was also in attendance, measures have been brought in by UEFA to sanction those who pressure referees.
Highlights from the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League technical report include:
- An increase in the value of the first goal – 69% of teams scoring first in the competition last season went on to win.
- Fouls in the competition decreased by 5.7% compared with the 2013/14 campaign.
- Decline in goals scored from crosses – down 17.7% on the previous season.
Michel Platini, UEFA President
"The teams and players that participate in our competitions must show respect on the field of play at all times – respect towards their opponents, the officials and the game itself. They have the responsibility to set an example to all the fans around the world and to all those who play football at grassroots and junior level. UEFA has reminded all those who will take part in our tournaments this season that referees will punish players and coaches who show any disrespect or aggression towards officials and opponents."
Pierluigi Collina, UEFA chief refereeing officer
"We all know that respect is one of the key points in a football match. UEFA wants a positive message to come from every match played in Europe and to certainly have respect towards all the components involved in a game. Referees are part of the match, so showing respect towards the referee is something that UEFA feels is very important. We notice from time to time that there are some overreactions on the field from players, from some teams' tactics or behaviour, and also from the benches. These are the three areas that we want to tackle."
Sir Alex Ferguson, UEFA Coaching Ambassador
"The important thing is that it shows UEFA is interested in the opinions of coaches in the Champions League and Europa League. For the coaches – especially the new ones here – it's important to lean on the experience of people like Carlo Ancelotti, Rafa Benítez and Arsène Wenger. These guys have had hundreds of games at a European level and the experience they can share with these young coaches is important. Communication about the complexities of our industry is also important because it's quite severe and a results-based industry that we have to deal with."
Rafael Benítez, Real Madrid coach
"It's always important, because you see the best coaches together – people who have a lot of experience – and you can always learn from them. It can often be about exchanging opinions. Exchanging thoughts and knowledge always helps."