FIFA is the big international governing body of football. Since it is a large bureaucratic body, it also employs a large variety of people. Therefore, there isn’t just one line of study you should pursue in order to work for FIFA – it all depends on your interests. For instance, you might love the game of football, but if you aren’t very skilled, it wouldn’t be wise to try to become a professional footballer. Actually becoming a professional football player isn’t a great idea anyway – it doesn’t qualify you to sit in a governing position, in the same way as you don’t see footballers run for office.
Follow your passions
So you want to work for FIFA, but how? Well, there are many ways to skin a cat. For instance, you could consider studying to become a lawyer. There is of course a need for lawyers at FIFA to work with their rules and regulations, just like any other governing body. But keep your passions in mind, study sports law and keep up to date with what FIFA does. When it comes to selecting the perfect candidate in a qualification wise equal playing field, your passion for the sport and organisation could win you the job! For more inspiration on studying, I recommend you take a look at Ucdavisuniversity.com.
Eye on the prize
The above was simply an example of how you can take a degree and make it relevant for work within FIFA. If I was to recommend a degree, it would probably have to be management and administration. On top of that, I recommend you do voluntary work. For instance, get engaged in your local football club, maybe get onto the board of a small club and work yourself up. Generally, just make sure you are constantly involved in some kind of work with or for an organisation. This, combined with a degree in management, will surely make you a more attractive prospect for a dream job within FIFA.
M may have not gone into the banking business, but went into the football business, and, sure enough, after 25 years, he is still in it and the business is going stronger every year. After all, if one compares his position to that of a coach, the kit manager will always have the upper hand. Why would they ever give him the boot? No one can blame him if anything goes wrong with the team. There is virtually not much blame to be assigned to kit managers. Unless, of course, for example when your team is not playing a home game and you forget to bring a set of fresh jerseys, as it happened once to a kit manager from another team. So, some players had to play the second half wearing their sweaty jerseys.
Or that time when a kit manager from another team used to steal jerseys and one day they found him out because his child went to school wearing a jersey, claiming that it was the same that Messi had been wearing on the finals. But these are isolated cases. This job is also full of satisfactions. More than once, a boy, after scoring a goal and once finalized the game said on live TV or radio that he wished to dedicate that goal to me. Not many have done it, but definitely more than one. One such boy who they had nicknamed the “dog” dedicated several goals to him, on his birthday, and on several other occasions.
What happens is that, many of the boys who come from far away, are those who spend the most time at the club, because they are very lonely at first. Away from their families and friends, they long for someone to talk to. So, sometimes they stay longer after football practice, even after the coach goes home. Or they also arrive early and drink tea with him. And M is always there, come rain or shine. It is why he thinks that his role, although not properly acknowledged, is more meaningful than that of a coach.
M acknowledges that his is a rather anonymous job. In fact, very anonymous, especially in comparison to that of coaches. M sometimes dreams that, someday the UEFA gives order that the name of kit managers will also be included when they display the names of the members of a team. Like, for example, up on the electronic board at the stadium when the lineup is displayed. At least, in smaller letters than the names of the players, coaches. But that they at least display them.
M’s partner always tells him that he could have achieved greater things, because he has been working in the same club for 25 years. M does not answer, but resorts to think, “how many coaches have been working with the same club for 25 years?” M’s partner is a teacher. M thinks of his job as a very spiritual one, so, in essence, not all that different from being a teacher. Not only because of the constant contact with kids from different cultures and countries around the world. But also because of all the alone time M has to spend there, which gives him plenty of space for introspection and reading.
Some people, however, say that if one is to be responsible enough and serious and professional about one’s job, then there should always be something to do; always. Greasing up the boots, changing a set of plugs, sewing back numbers, etc. Actually, that was before, when the numbers were sewn to the jerseys. Today, they are printed. M’s is a safe job tho, like working in a bank used to be back in the old days. M’s old man always told him that if he did not have an academic degree, he should try to work in a bank, since it was a highly respected job.
Some say the best position in football is number 9. Others claim it is 10, but M always say that the true best position belongs to him, namely the kit manager position. Taking care of the jerseys, pants, shorts, socks and boots. Because being in the coach’s shoes is a very difficult task indeed. Great responsibility. M has seen come and go through the doors of the locker room countless of coaches, many of them developing stomach ulcers due to stress and living under the constant pressure of getting results, dealing with angry fans and the exigent, sometimes even unrealistic demands of the club’s managers.
M has seen many coaches sobbing in the laundry room after losing a match, just as that time with the blonde, chubby one. Poor thing, he first arrived to the club as a cheerful, rosy, blondish guy and left with a kick in the ass, three months later, having lost 18 pounds and with such a pale face that he almost looked like a ghost.
Instead, the kit manager, as in M’s case, is always there, quietly, anonymously, preparing stuff, folding shirts, jerseys, counting pairs of socks, making sure that no shorts go missing etc. Hidden, safe under this big monster of concrete, like a bunker. One of those bunkers you see in war movies, all made from cement, partially buried in the ground. And M is always there, all day, day and night, always with artificial light, buried alive, but safe, listening to, at most, above the roar of the stadium, the people, the screaming, the whistling.
And, sometimes, he can even feel the uncontrollable shaking of the cement monster; vibrating cement, like an earthquake, as if, at any moment, that mass of concrete and stone might all crumble above your head, together with thousands and thousands of people.
- 6- Pep Guardiola: Historical Barcelona coach who is now in charge of Manchester city; he simply won everything he aimed for with the FC Barcelona, coming to win six tournaments under a year’s time. the Spanish League, Cupar’s timeRey, Spanish Super Cup, Champions League, European Super Cup and the Club World Cup.
- 5- Jose Mourinho: Portuguese coach who has won everything with Porto and with Inter, including the Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup final. With Chelsea, the only thing that got away was the European Cup, when Liverpool eliminated them twice in the semifinals and when they finally managed to defeat them and move on to the finals, they ended up losing to Manchester.
- 4- Vicente del Bosque: He gave Spain the world’s biggest achievements in history, with Real Madrid he won everything and formed one of the best teams in history with Zidane, Ronaldo, Hierro, Roberto Carlos and Makelele etc.
- 3- Sir Alex Ferguson: He is the coach with the oldest position ever in the history of football, and has said he can not imagine working for any other team than Manchester United. He has literally won everything with the Red Devils, but his greatest success was that comeback against Bayern Munich, where he managed to win the Champions League in 1999.
- 2- Rinus Michels was a mediocre player, but as a coach he has been one of the best. He was close to winning the World Cup in Germany 74, has put Ajax in the history of world football, as well as the Dutch National men’s team.
- 1- Brian Clough: Known for his success with teams like Derby County and Nottingham Forest, led from second division of England to become one of the best teams in Europe. He had been a striker, scoring 267 goals in 296 games for Middlesbrough and Sunderland. An injury led him to retire at 29 and launched his coaching career.
In football the importance is usually attributed to players, who are the ones defining the matches and bring glory to their team, but none of that would be possible if they did not have a coach behind them. That is why we have compiled the list of the best coaches in history.
- 10- Carlos Bianchi. If there is one South American coach in history that can boast of having conquered all he ever desired with a team, then that will surely be the “Viceroy” Bianchi, who gave Boca Juniors one of their best periods in its 111 years of age since its foundation and placed it as one of the best teams in the world, won the Argentine tournament, the Libertadores Cup, the South American Cup and the Intercontinental Cup.
- 9- Carlo Ancelotti: This Chelsea coach gave back Milan its place among one of the greatest teams in the history of Europe, enabling them to make it to the finals during the Champions League on 3 separate occasions in the space of less than 5 years, and winning two of them. He also succeeded in getting the Rossoneri team another Scudetto, as well as an Italian Cup and he is currently doing very well in Chelsea, having won already his first tournament.
- 8- Ottmar Hitzfeld: He is the German coach to have won the most titles in history. In total, six German leagues. He also led Borussia Dortmund to become champion of Europe in 1997, defeating the unbeatable, powerful Juventus. He managed to obtain the same achievement again with Bayern Munich in 2001.
- 7- Guss Hiddink: Despite not having a prominent track record, this Dutch coach has been at the forefront of some of the greatest campaigns and feats in Europe, enough for him to be considered one of the best Dutch coaches ever. His greatest achievement was to bring South Korea to the semifinals of the World Cup 2002.
Once upon a time, no one payed much attention to football coaches. However, the football coach died when the game stopped being “just a game” and football began being referred to as professional football and thus came the need to have a tactics specialist behind professional teams. So from there on, the tactics specialist had the difficult mission to avoid improvisation, control freedom and maximize the performance of football players, who were forced to become disciplined athletes.
They used to say “Let’s play”. The tactics specialist says instead “Let’s work”. Now football commentators refer to it in terms of numbers. A journey through fear and history in the twentieth century. The facts are all there before our eyes, but it takes outrageous amounts of knowledge to be able to interpret that information effectively. From interpreting this complex data and statistics, the tactics specialist develops mysterious formulas more complex than those of nuclear energy and tactical schemes more indecipherable than the Holy Trinity.
That old blackboard where schemes were represented were replaced by electronic screens; now they are drawn on a computer and shown on a LED screen. These details are rarely seen on television. Rather, TV broadcasts focus on displaying tension and anxiety in the face of the coach, or on that moment while they shout directions that if anyone could understand, it might turn the game around. Journalists roast them at the press conference. Coaches never share the secret of their victories, but are left giving explanations and excuses for their defeats. The machinery of show business grinds everything tho; success ephemeral and coaches as disposable as any other product of consumerism. A coach believes that football is a science and the field a laboratory, but businessmen and fans expect of them the genius of Einstein, the subtlety of Freud and the endurance of Gandhi.
Uli Hoeness and Pep Guardiola’s Encounter in NYC
Uli Hoeness also explained what went down during the 3 hour conversation he had with Guardiola during their meeting. Guardiola confessed to him that he had been following closely and analyzing all the matches played by Bayern for almost half a year. He seemed to know everything. He asked Hoeness about issues related to training techniques, relations with the press etc. Uli Hoeness and Pep Guardiola also spoke of tactical issues, of course. Despite the mystique, Pep seemed to be a very friendly and open person and had a really nice wife. When Hoeness walked out of there, he did so knowing Pep was the right coach for them.
Back in town, when Hoeness went to dine at the place where he had originally wanted to meet with Pep, suddenly the maitre told him that there was an old friend who wanted to say hello. It was Sir Alex Ferguson. He asked Hoeness what he was doing in New York City, to which Hoeness replied evasively, that he was on a business trip, although it was definitely not a lie and said that he needed to fly to Chicago next with his son to take care of something related to the family business of sausages, which was also true.
The thing was that the signing of the contract was to be kept in secret for a few more months, so Hoeness could not have Ferguson find out so soon. As it turned out, Sir Ferguson also has an apartment in New York City, where he occasionally spends a season. Hoeness says he was really worried that Ferguson would find out and tell somebody and that the press would get a hold of the info. Also, he is happy that he did not meet with Pep out in the open.
The story abut the signing of Pep Guardiola with Bayern München was worthy of a Hollywood script. The story, related by Uli Hoeness, president of FC Bayern München, to Sport Bild, includes several anecdotes worthy of a fictional setting. To begin with, Uli Hoeness revealed that Karl Heinz Rummenigge (chairman of the board of FC Bayern München) met with Guardiola in Barcelona several times during the fall.
But the actual signing of the deal went down in New York City, where Pep Guardiola has taken up permanent residence, soon before Christmas Eve in the year 2012. Pep had asked to meet Hoeness, who wanted to meet up with Guardiola at one of his favorite bars in Manhattan, where he would feel at home, but the football coach preferred to send a black limousine to the hotel Four Season on Fifth Avenue to pick him up instead. So, as Uli Hoeness and Guardiola’s brother walked into the elevator in the underground parking of Guardiola’s private residence, in an apartment building in downtown Manhattan, Hoeness could not help but think that it felt like a rather foreboding evening and he confesses that he remained unsettled until the time the multi million EURO contract was safe back in Germany.
Hoeness explained that he had brought a contract with him, signed by Rummenigge himself and that after a three hour conversation that felt like an eternity, Pep Guardiola finally asked, to Udi Hoeness’ relief, “shall I sign now?” to which he replied, while contemplating the magnificent view over Central Park and holding on nervously to a glass of red wine, that nothing would make him happier at that moment than to sign the contract for which he had flown all the way across the Atlantic. Right after that, Hoeness put the contract in a safe and it remained in there for weeks.