UEFA President Michel Platini has been presented with the Nils Liedholm Prize for 2013 at a ceremony in Cuccaro Monferrat, Italy.
The prize, first awarded in 2011, bears the name of the brilliant Swedish player, who is remembered as a symbol of football's joy, and Mr Platini has received it for his technical qualities on the field as well as his leadership and communication qualities which have brought him a distinguished career as a football manager and administrator.
Mr Platini was chosen to succeed two eminent coaches – Carlo Ancelotti (2011) and Vicente del Bosque (2012) – by a jury including former playing greats Gianni Rivera, Giancarlo Antognoni and Franco Baresi, sports journalists, and local representatives of Cuccaro Monferrat, a municipality in the province of Alessandria in northern Italy which Nils Liedholm adopted as his home. The UEFA President collected the prize from Liedholm's son Carlo.
Jury members attended the ceremony along with sports personalities from Italy and beyond, as well as a delegation from Valdemersvik, the Swedish town where Nils Liedholm was born in 1922. Liedholm, who passed away in 2007, was a renowned player and coach, famous for being part of the Swedish 'Gre-No-Li' trio of forwards along with Gunnar Gren and Gunnar Nordahl at AC Milan and in the Swedish national team, with whom he reached the final of the 1958 FIFA World Cup.
He won Olympic gold with Sweden in 1948 and four Italian titles as a player before a successful career as a head coach, which saw him lift domestic titles with Milan (1979) and AS Roma (1983).
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