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NO 50 | OCTOBER 2011

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Celebrating the 50th

n March 1997, AFC Ajax, Manchester United FC, Juventus and Borussia
Dortmund were successfully negotiating the quarter-finals of the UEFA
Champions League. The last two would, as we know, later contest the final,
with the Germans winning the title in Munich. That same month, the UEFA
Techniciannewsletter for coaches was launched, with the aim of informing
practising coaches about UEFA events, highlighting issues relating to the
coaching profession, recognising winning performances and recording
the thoughts of our top technicians. After 14 years of words and images,
we have reached the 50th issue. So, as people often do when a milestone
is reached, we reflect for a moment on what hasbeen a highly successful period for European football.
During this time, we have paid tribute to Ottmar Hitzfeld, Sir Alex Ferguson, Vicente Del Bosque, Carlo Ancelotti, José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, who have each won the UEFA Champions League not just once, but
twice – a remarkable achievement. Meanwhile, we have saluted Aimé Jacquet, Marcello Lippi and Vicente Del Bosque for lifting the FIFAWorld Cup:
three European successes in the last four editions is something to be proud of. EURO
accolades have gone to the wonderfully enthusiastic Roger Lemerre (France), the
irrepressible Otto Rehhagel (Greece) and the revered Luis Aragonés (Spain).
Sadly, there have also been tributes to departed colleagues, such as Dutch
coaching guru Rinus Michels, Italy’s world champion Enzo Bearzot,England’s
gentleman of football Sir Bobby Robson, the elegant Giacinto Facchetti of
Inter, the thoughtful René Hussy of Switzerland, and the highly respected
boss of Italy’s coaching school, Guido Vantaggiato.
All aspects of UEFA’s technical programme have been recorded, from
top-level events such as the Elite Club Coaches Forum and the UEFA
National Coaches Conference to the UEFA GrassrootsWorkshop and the
UEFA Study Group Scheme. Of particular interest was the implementation
of UEFA’s Coaching Convention, which started with six members in 1998
and had incorporated all 53 associations by 2008 – with 43 authorised to deliver UEFA
Pro diplomas. In this context, the role of the coach education director was highlighted.
This is the person responsible for developing the nextgeneration of coaches, supporting
frontline technicians and leading a team of staff coaches. The technical director, on the
other hand, is the one responsible for leading all technical activities at the association
or club (coaching, age-limit teams, women’s football, grassroots, etc.). The UEFA
Technician has enthusiastically supported the specialist activities of both. Their work
is rarelypublicised, but their impact on the future of the game is immense.
The use of interviews, editorials and event reports has provided a vehicle for
sharing the wisdom of elite coaches and bringing important issues into the public
domain. Among the many profound statements made by coaching colleagues, some
resonate. For example, Arsène Wenger’s: “You must love the game and want to share
with the playersa certain way of life, a way of seeing the game.” Or Sir Alex Ferguson’s:
“The drive, the hunger, the passion must be inside you, because the players need to
recognise that you care.” And when we refer to hot topics, we need look no further than
issue No. 1, when the proposal to have weekend fixtures and double-headers for national
team matches was first communicated, following our post-EURO‘96 conference.
The Technician newsletter has covered 14 years of glorious European football as seen
through the eyes of the technician and has reported on all aspects of UEFA’s technical
development programme. Decision-makers, administrators, referees, doctors, commentators and fans, as well as coaches, have all contributed to the game’s progress during this
time, but ultimately it is the...