UEFA president Michel Platini visited Montenegro on Saturday for talks with the country's political leaders and senior officials from the Football Federation of Montenegro (FSCG).
Mr Platini met Montenegro's president Filip Vujanović, the mayor of the capital Podgorica, Miomir Mugoša, and FSCG leader Dejan Savićević.
The UEFA president praised the progress that the Montenegrin national association – the youngest member of the European football community – has made in less than four years.
"I have a special relationship with the FA of Montenegro," he said. "Very soon after my election as UEFA president in 2007, Montenegro became a member of UEFA. My first duty as president was to welcome Montenegro into the UEFA family."
Mr Savićević thanked Mr Platini for the backing given to speed Montenegro's progress, especially in the development of football infrastructures as a result of the support provided by UEFA's HatTrick assistance programme. "With UEFA's help, we will try to continue to work hard on that issue," he explained.
"The FA of Montenegro has used UEFA's help in the best possible way," added Mr Platini. "In less than four years the association has made significant steps forward."
Mr Platini visited a national association training centre with four natural grass and two artificial pitches, built in 2008 with UEFA assistance. Both the UEFA president and Mr Savićević emphasised the importance of such facilities in producing new generations of talented players – a major priority for the FSCG. "We must be focused to give them the best possible conditions for development," said Mr Savićević.
Montenegro's national team have made an impressive start to their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying campaign, and lead Group G with ten points from four matches. "For such a small country, these results are a major success," Mr Platini reflected. "However, generations pass quickly, and the most important thing in football is to bring new players onto the scene."
Talks with Filip Vujanović and Miomir Mugoša centred on cooperation between the state and the national football association.
Mr Vujanović thanked Mr Platini for assisting the FSCG. "I am absolutely sure that UEFA will continue to help our football," he said. Mr Mugoša pledged support to the federation to aid the further growth of football in the country. A presentation was given on the concept design for the national stadium's eastern grandstand, which will be built with the help of a contribution from the Podgorica municipality.
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