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UEFA Academy: providing football players with specialised education on and off the pitch


The UEFA Academy continues to develop a broad range of education programmes dedicated to elite footballers, leading to jobs in management, administration, scouting or the media.

Didier Drogba is among the football legends studying with UEFA
Didier Drogba is among the football legends studying with UEFA UEFA via Getty Images

For many elite and professional players, what comes next as they consider the end of their career can be a difficult question to answer.

After so many years excelling in one profession, it is not easy to turn the page and try something else. However, a new page does not mean turning your back on football. That’s where the UEFA Academy's longstanding educational expertise and its range of new player-focused courses comes in.

For the 2021/22 season, the UEFA Academy, along with academic and football partners, has added to its existing offering a series of five new programmes that offer current and former elite players the necessary skills to advance within the game in a wide variety of roles, on and off the field, in addition to the existing highly acclaimed initiatives such as the UEFA Executive Master for International Players (UEFA MIP), the UEFA Certificate in Football Management (UEFA CFM) and the mobile app, UEFA For Players.

From long-term academic programmes to intensive compact courses, on-site or online, the UEFA Academy offers a pathway for male and female players looking to prepare for their second career.

Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA president

"UEFA’s mission has always been to promote and protect the beautiful game throughout Europe. This includes encouraging professional footballers to pursue their education during and after their time on the pitch. Suitable qualifications enable them to start a new career in football after they retire, while exploiting the skills they honed while playing.

"For this reason, UEFA recently developed a broad range of education programmes dedicated to elite football players, leading to jobs in management, administration, scouting or the media, for example.

"We are confident that these initiatives will have a positive impact on players’ future prospects while keeping skilled professionals within the football ecosystem."

Which UEFA Academy education courses are available for players?

UEFA Career Transition Programme

A unique orientation programme guiding players who are either reaching the end of their playing career or have recently retired in their choice of second career.

Duration: one week

Click here for full details

UEFA Certificate in Football Management (players' edition)

An online adaptation of the well-established successful UEFA education programme to meet the needs of professional football players and referees allowing them to gain a comprehensive understanding of how the game is managed.

Duration: nine months

Click here for full details

UEFA Certificate in Football Management (open edition)

The must-have foundation programme for anyone working in a football organisation who wants to gain a comprehensive understanding of how the game is managed.

Duration: nine months (academic certification delivered by the University of Lausanne, Switzerland)

Click here for full details

UEFA Executive Master for International Players (MIP)

The UEFA MIP equips former international players with essential professional skills to achieve their ambition of successfully transitioning to a second career within football organisations.

Duration: two years (academic certification delivered by the Centre de droit et d’économie du Sport - Limoges, France)

Click here for full details

UEFA Elite Scout Programme

A foundation programme for professional scouts, coaches or ex-players wishing to pursue a scouting career in the modern-day football environment.

Duration: three months

Click here for full details

UEFA Player Agent Programme

The UEFA PAP provides current and future agents with state-of-the-art proficiency in managing players, negotiating, and closing deals on behalf of their clients.

Duration: three months

Click here for full details

UEFA Media Consultant Compact Course

The UEFA MC3 is designed for former elite players wanting to get an exclusive look into the football media ecosystem and dive into the profession of media consultant by learning from academic and media experts as well as shadowing them on the field.

Duration: one week

Click here for full details

UEFA Financial Management Training

A free online platform offering practical tools and knowledge to elite players so they can be in the driving seat of their finances and financial future.

Duration: 25 hours

Click here for full details

UEFA For Players app

A free mobile application designed to expand players’ football and career management knowledge at the touch of a screen.

Duration: eight to 10 hours

Click here for full details

What do players think of the UEFA Academy courses?

Juan Mata, Manchester United and Spain player

"It’s really important for footballers to perform well on the pitch, but we also need the opportunity to learn new things and grow as individuals. Unfortunately, our busy schedules do not allow us to attend weekly classes or go to a university campus. The UEFA CFM enables me to complete a university degree in sports management, meet new people and prepare for my second career while continuing to play at the top level."

Maxwell Scherrer, UEFA chief of football development and former Brazil international

"It is really ground-breaking for UEFA to develop such a broad offer of programmes for players. I believe that getting guidance at all stages of your career is crucial to personal and professional growth and development on and off the pitch. No matter whether you are an active or retired player, the UEFA Academy has a variety of learning initiatives tailored to your needs that can help you achieve your professional goals."

Bianca Rech, FC Bayern women's team manager and former Germany international, on taking the UEFA MIP

"It is something unique. It’s not about getting knowledge from a normal university, it is much more! The team spirit we experience every day with fellow participants is truly inspirational. We love football, we are team-mates and you can feel that in every session. During this programme, I really developed
personally and professionally. I realised how important the skills that I gained as a professional player are and I managed to transform them into managerial skills."

Luis García, LG Sports Nation CEO and former Spain international

"It is essential for players to be aware of the various opportunities that are open to them for a second career.

"When I retired from football, I wasn’t sure what to do and coaching didn’t seem to be the right choice for me. I looked for an education programme that could help me learn more about the business side of football and found the UEFA MIP. The experience was intense and beneficial, as it gave me the knowledge I needed to work in football management.”

Annike Krahn, Under-16 Germany women's team manager and former German international

"Thinking about 'what's next' after my career on the pitch has always been important to me, especially being a female footballer. I believe that getting opportunities as a player to get the tools and knowledge I need to access management and decision-making positions after my retirement is crucial.

"For this reason, I enrolled into the UEFA MIP to be able to work in football and help develop the game, even though I had already made my diploma in sport management. I highly encourage any player to check the many programmes available at the UEFA Academy, whether you are still playing or freshly retired and start planning your future as soon as possible."

What does the UEFA Academy offer for non-players?

The UEFA Academy provides opportunities for professionals working in the football industry to raise their game off the pitch through dedicated educational and management training.

Its wide range of courses help executives and specialists, including doctors and lawyers as well as professional players, develop their skills to gain a footing in the administrative side of the sport.

The UEFA Academy in numbers

3,000+ graduates from over 150 countries
62 learning initiatives each year spread over 130 days
50+ countries visited by our programmes
2,000+ documents available on our online platform, UEFA Academy Online
1 unique network

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