Arsene Wenger has been named as FIFA’s new Chief of Global Football Development.
Wenger, 70, has been linked with a move to Bayern Munich in recent weeks but it appears the Frenchman will now end his role as a club or national team manager and instead focus on the bigger picture in this special role at FIFA.
Marco van Basten left FIFA’s technical director role in October 2018 and Wenger is the perfect person to replace him and lead the global game.
FIFA say that Wenger will “be chiefly responsible for overseeing and driving the growth and development of the sport for both men and women around the world. He will also be the leading authority on technical matters, both as a member of the Football and Technical Advisory Panels involved in The IFAB’s review and decision-making process on potential changes to the Laws of the Game, and as chairman of the FIFA Technical Study Group.”
They added that Wenger “will include a particular focus on coach education” and he will be key in FIFA’s executive programme, which helps former professionals enter management and help them in their post-career transition.
Speaking about his new gig from Switzerland as he stood alongside FIFA president Gianni Infantino, the legendary former Arsenal boss was delighted to arrive in a role which seems perfectly suited to his skillset.
“I very much look forward to taking on this extremely important challenge, not only because I have always been interested in analysing football from a broader perspective but also because FIFA’s mission as world football’s governing body is truly global,” Wenger said. “I believe that the new FIFA we have seen emerging in recent years has the sport itself at the very heart of its objectives and is determined to develop the game in its many different components. I know I can contribute to this objective and will put all my energy into this.”
Infantino added: “Arsene is someone who, with his strategic vision, competence and hard work, has dedicated his life to football. His arrival is just another example of how we keep strengthening our purpose to bring FIFA back to football and football back to FIFA.”
Wenger’s time as a coach was revolutionary, as he totally changed the structure at Arsenal and almost single-handedly altered the professionalism levels in the Premier League.
After a 22-year stint in charge of the Gunners, it appears Wenger’s time as a coach is up.
He will now travel the world trying to spread the gospel of the beautiful game. Considering his Arsenal team always played wonderful, free-flowing, attacking soccer, Wenger truly embodies the most beautiful parts of the beautiful game.