Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Sami Khedira takes UEFA school route to football leadership

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Sami Khedira’s curiosity to make the football industry work resurfaced when Juventus asked players to take pay cuts and deferrals during the coronavirus pandemic.

A World Cup winner with Germany in 2014 who spent five seasons at Real Madrid before joining the Italian club, Khedira said this week he was “always interested in the system.”

The 34-year-old midfielder’s questions – why do we have to travel, why did we get paid, why Madrid could not show their betting sponsors on shirts in some countries – have prompted him to join the UEFA-led Masters course which is a tour of former players. educates. Management of business and sports.

When Juventus sought to save 90 million euros ($102 million) by restructuring salaries in March 2020, Khedira sought to understand the issue.

“I spoke to the president and asked him ‘Why? What are you doing with the money?'” Khedira, who retired from the sport in May, told the Associated Press. “I asked how many Juventus employees, so what They also have to pay because their salary is much less than what we have. So how much (do they) earn?

“What do you do with the money? You buy new players or do you solve problems (so that) the club can survive?

Juventus was a good place to learn how players can impact the industry off the field. The wage dispute during the pandemic is discussed by defender Giorgio Chiellini, who has a master’s degree in business. Former great Pavel Nedved is the club’s vice president.

Juventus president, whom Khedira inquired about the salary deal, Andrea Agnelli, was also a driving force behind the Super League project that threatened to end European football in April.

“I know him very well. From the point of view of Agnelli or Mr. Perez,” Khedira said, referring to another Super League leader, Madrid president Florentino Perez, “I completely understand what they want to do.” Players or UEFA, on the other hand, don’t like it.

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“I always try to look at both sides,” he said, comparing the current pressure to FIFA to play a World Cup every two years instead of four.

Khedira said he has been in Doha with FIFA and listened to their side, weighing the European approach against the change with the football body’s need to listen to other regions and his desire for opportunities to play on the biggest stage .

Khedira’s 28 classmates over the next two years include Nemanja Vidic, a Princeton graduate in economics, Nigel de Jong and Diana Matheson. His sporting career also ended this year after 206 appearances for Canada and two Olympic bronze medals.

Matheson, who sits on the player council in the worldwide federation FIFPRO, has set a career goal to help build a women’s professional league in her country.

“I want to be a part of the solution, a part of building something,” she told the AP, adding that she joined the UEFA curriculum to get a “more European view of football – history, money, clubs”.

Now in its fourth edition, the UEFA curriculum is run in conjunction with university departments in London and Limoges, France.

Past graduates have gone on to some bigger jobs. Maxwell is Director of Development at UEFA, while Jason Roberts has a similar role at CONCACAF, a North American football body. Juninho Pernambucano has become sporting director at French club Lyon, while Simon Rolfs serves in the same position with German club Bayer Leverkusen.

Citing Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka, Khedira expects more current players from Germany to become future industry leaders.

“If you love the game and you find a judgment for the fans and the game, that’s it,” said Khedira, who already has job offers. “And not for money or any personal interest.”


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