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Romantic Platini looks to the future


The newly-elected UEFA President took time to give his initial thoughts to uefa.com.

Michel Platini's love of the beautiful game will sustain him through the highs and lows at the helm of European football. The newly-elected UEFA President took time after the XXXI Ordinary UEFA Congress in Dusseldorf, Germany to give some initial thoughts to uefa.com at the onset of his first term of office.

uefa.com: First of all, congratulations on your election. What is your first reaction to the result?

Michel Platini:
The result is 27-23. I don't really know what to say about that. It's difficult to know where the votes come from. There were days I had 52 votes, and other days when it was just two, sometimes it was 30 and sometimes 22. The situation has been changing and evolving.

uefa.com: You have won a lot of trophies in your career: UEFA European Championship and European Champion Clubs' Cup. Can there be a comparison between these successes and today's victory?

Mr Platini: Not at all. When you win on the playing field, you are with your team mates, you do a lap of honour and it's all over. Here, it's the start of a new adventure. It's a new beginning, and therefore the situation is a bit different.

uefa.com: Does this new adventure start immediately? What will be the first steps?

Mr Platini: We have a first Executive Committee meeting this afternoon [Friday]. We will have to name the vice-presidents. I have not prepared anything before the elections, now I will start my work, by listening and consulting the people, by talking also with Lennart Johansson.

uefa.com: Regarding Lennart Johansson and his 17 years as UEFA's President, what do you think about the heritage he has now passed on to you?

Mr Platini: What he has achieved does not belong to him, but to the national associations and to European football. Lennart has always been a person I have held in very high regard, who I have also fought against. And he has been very courageous to come back and stand for another mandate after he had decided to retire. I like him very much as a person, and that is also why I have immediately asked that he is named Honorary President, because I would like him to remain with us and to share the good and difficult moments with us, and help us with his advice and expertise. A person who forgets the past has no future.

uefa.com: You have always been a football romantic. Will your attitude towards football inspire you for your future tasks?

Mr Platini: Fortunately I am a romantic. We are living in a civilised world; football is a great sport, a treasure, a piece of jewelry. It's good that there are still romantics, 99.99 per cent of the people are romantics who love the artists, the players and football. There is not only politics, business, violence, hooliganism and corruption in football. There are also very nice things in football, and I belong to those people who defend these things. Football is also a game, we should not forget that.

To view Michel Platini's interview and other reaction from the UEFA Congress, please click here.

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