|NYON: As a player, he was a global superstar who won a multitude of titles and awards during an illustrious career that spanned almost two decades. Now, Luís Figo is bringing his wealth of knowledge and expertise to UEFA as he joins the organisation as a football adviser.
The former UEFA Champions League winner will work with President Aleksander Čeferin and the Football Division across a variety of matters including technical aspects of the game, laws of the game and the overall attractiveness of the sport. He will also be the leading figure of the UEFA ambassadors programme.
“Luís Figo was a fantastic player who was exemplary in the way he conducted himself both on and off the pitch,” the UEFA president said. “He is a highly respected figure within the game and I am very pleased he is joining our team. His tremendous football experience will be a very valuable asset to UEFA.”
Commenting on his appointment, Figo stated: “I have been lucky to gain a wealth of experience and I believe I can have a positive influence in passing on my knowledge. Football is constantly evolving. I am privileged to be involved with UEFA and I would like to thank Aleksander Čeferin for giving me this opportunity.”
The former Portuguese international had an outstanding playing career, which saw him win the UEFA Champions League in 2002 with Real Madrid CF, as well as the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and the UEFA Super Cup on two occasions. Perhaps his greatest individual award came in 2000, when he won the Ballon d’Or.
Success with the Portuguese national team at senior level did elude him. However, he helped his country to the final of UEFA EURO 2004, which Portugal hosted, while he would win 127 caps – a mark which was eventually bettered by Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I have learned so much from football that I am now really looking forward to giving something back,” Figo added. “When I started playing football professionally in 1990, I could never have imagined that one day I would have the opportunity to join UEFA and work alongside the president of this organisation and some of the best football minds from around the world.”
Figo joins the likes of Nadine Kessler and Dejan Stanković who started working at UEFA as football advisors earlier this year. During this time, Kessler has risen to become the head of the Women’s Football unit. President Aleksander Čeferin says it is part of his policy to get more ex-players involved in the decision-making process of how football is run.