Top players are being encouraged to pursue senior roles in football after they hang up their boots with the launch of the UEFA Executive Master for International Players.
UEFA is preparing to equip international players with the tools for a future in the administrative management of football with the launch of the UEFA Executive Master for International Players (UEFA MIP).
The educational programme will give top players the opportunity to transfer their skills from the field into decision-making and leadership roles off it, to ensure that their knowledge and understanding of the game can benefit the football family for years to come.
The programme is delivered by two world-class academic institutions: the Centre de Droit et d'Economie du Sport (CDES) University of Limoges (France) and the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre, Birkbeck, University of London. The UEFA MIP programme has also been developed in partnership with FIFPro and ECA.
"Football is ever-evolving, something known all too well by those who have reached the highest levels on the field," said UEFA President Michel Platini in the programme brochure. "Giving the tools to players to pursue their careers in other footballing roles is one of the key targets of the UEFA Executive Master for International Players.
"Having been leaders on the pitch, we encourage you through this course to move forward with your aims to become influential in your roles off it, to preserve the values of football and continue to be a part of it bringing joy to fans across Europe and beyond."
The launch of the UEFA MIP programme has been welcomed by former international players who have made the transition into positions of administrative management within their national associations.
"When you stop playing, you must have some sort of basis or preparation that allows you to start a new life," said former international forward Zbigniew Boniek, now president of the Polish Football Federation (PZPN). "I think that if UEFA offers projects in order for players to integrate themselves into new life paths, I can only applaud them for their efforts."
For further information on the programme, please visit the UEFA MIP's official website.
Click on the video player to hear more from Zbigniew Boniek and other former international players