An eventful period for UEFA and European football on and off the field is reviewed in depth in the latest edition of UEFA Direct.
Article top media content
UEFA’s official magazine brings the curtain down on a hectic year when UEFA EURO 2020 provided a wealth of special moments to remember, while UEFA and the European football community remained united in their determination to protect and nurture core values that lie at the very heart of the beautiful game.
UEFA Direct also looks ahead with eager anticipation to tournaments that will make a notable mark in 2022.
UEFA President editorial: 2021’s highlights
• The number of matches played and competitions completed despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic;
• Far-reaching changes to the UEFA Women’s Champions League that are enhancing women’s football and raising its profile;
• The launch of the UEFA Europa Conference League, giving a number of clubs the chance to make their debut on the European stage.
“Over the past 12 months,” the UEFA President writes, “every member of our community has made a telling contribution to these standout successes – national associations, players, domestic leagues, clubs, coaches, match officials, fans, our partners and the media.
“However, our most significant achievement deserves more recognition – protecting the European sports model that guides the mission of UEFA, its member associations and countless other sporting organisations,” he adds in recalling last April’s ill-fated attempt to launch a closed ‘European Super League’.
“Its demise, driven by political and popular condemnation from across the continent, was our most significant, shared victory in 2021,” the UEFA President concludes.
Key focal points
Special attention is devoted to last October’s exciting UEFA Nations League finals in Italy and the completion of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, which saw the first European teams book their places in the finals in Qatar later this year.
UEFA Direct also heralds mouth-watering attractions to come – the first 16-team UEFA Futsal EURO, which gets under way in the Netherlands on 19 January, and the fast-approaching and long-awaited UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 in England in July.
The Technician, UEFA Direct’s coaching supplement, examines the relationship between coaches and fitness, and how UEFA has injected a fitness competence framework into coach education as sports science makes rapid advances.
Elsewhere in UEFA Direct 196:
• The UEFA EURO 2024 logo is unveiled in spectacular style in Berlin
• National team coaches promote a healthier lifestyle
• UEFA’s Grassroots Football Week: celebrating football for all
• UEFA Grow Awards: promoting footballing innovation and growth across Europe
• UEFA Academy: five new programmes
UEFA Direct 196 – essential reading for those who follow UEFA and European football…