I cannot deny that, every May, the player deep inside me still gets excited about the special atmosphere of the UEFA club competition finals, these momentous international climaxes that all footballers dream of playing in, or even being the heroes of.
This year was no exception and the finals in Amsterdam and London, with their mixture of public fervour, joy and emotions as well as uncertainty, were magnificent celebrations once again.
The men's and women's finals in London were all the more festive in as much as, like the UEFA Congress, they formed part of the celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of The Football Association, the oldest in the world. The quality of the matches served as a fitting tribute to the pioneers of our game. The match between FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund, staged in the prestigious, historic setting of Wembley, will have satisfied all fans of open football, where the desire to score is more important than any tactical manoeuvres.
There were fewer goals at Stamford Bridge in the final between VfL Wolfsburg and Olympique Lyonnais, but women's football nonetheless proved once again that it has all the ingredients needed to continue its fantastic progress.
Women's football will also be the focus in Sweden when the continent's best national teams will be competing for the title of European champions. Behind the scenes, a conference on the development of women's football will bring together experts from all our member associations. Their general secretaries will also be there, illustrating the desire of virtually all our national associations to devote all the resources and attention to this sector that it deserves.
Organised men's football has been delighting crowds all over the world for more than 150 years now. Women's football would love to do the same, and we should be right behind them, encouraging them all the way.
This editorial appeared in the latest issue of official UEFA publication UEFA•direct
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