FIFA President Infantino delivers closing speech at Dubai International Sports Conference

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The FIFA President delivered the closing speech at the conference.

The 12th Dubai International Sports Conference drew to a close on Thursday with a speech by FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

The Conference again brought together an exceptional group of influential and innovative professionals in all areas of world football, to share their expertise and experience during two days of workshops and presentations.

In the closing session Infantino addressed the packed ballroom at Madinat Jumeriah and outlined FIFA’s approach to the conference theme of Modern Investment in Football. In outlining FIFA’s approach, Infantino said: “There are many stakeholders and points of views and our task and ambition must be to bring together all the different interests in a way that protects football – the game we love.

“FIFA’s approach to investment covers five major areas – investment in image; investment in fans; protection of the game; corporate social responsibility and the future of football.

Infantino added: “2018 will be FIFA’s year of digital revolution as we develop a worldwide digital future to engage and interact with fans. Technology is part of our future, and I am positive the VAR will be a great introduction to football.

The panel discussed the impact of technology on football development.

The panel discussed the impact of technology on football development.

“The FIFA Foundation has also been established to deal with requests for help and assistance from around the world. We will also be introducing a new format for youth competitions from next year, and will be developing a FIFA Women’s World League. We will also create a new Club World Cup so all confederations and leagues all over the world develop at the same rate.

“The most important thing is that we focus on football and protect the game.”

At the conclusion of his speech, Infantino was presented with a gift by HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the UAE Olympic Committee.

In earlier sessions Marcello Lippi – Coach of China, joined Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee Pierluigi Collina, and top international referee Felix Brych to discuss Football Development and the Impact of Technology.

Collina said: “The target (of VAR) is to protect the referees by avoiding mistakes which affect the outcome of the match. The referee will always be the final decision maker and should be supported. The interpretation must still be his.

Ismael Matar Carlos Puyol, Mustafa Agha and Francesco Totti.

Ismael Matar, Carlos Puyol, Mustafa Agha and Francesco Totti.

Legendary players Francesco Totti and Carles Puyol, along with one of the UAE’s best players Ismail Matar, then discussed Investment Strategies for Players – During and Post Career, before Infantino addressed the delegates.

The Conference is held under the umbrella of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, and is organised by Dubai Sports Council under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the Dubai Sports Council. The Conference was established to bring together the leaders in all areas of football to share their knowledge and ideas.

And in a fitting conclusion to the Conference, the prestigious and highly anticipated Dubai Globe Soccer Awards will be staged on Thursday evening, December 28, recognising the best performances of the season from players, coaches and administrators.

The Awards will this year will be presented in 13 categories. The nominees have been selected by the Globe Soccer Jury of international footballing coaches, directors and chairmen.

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Dubai International Sports Conference kicks off with 'Modern Investment in International Football' as theme

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The 12th Dubai International Sports Conference has again brought together an exceptional group of influential and innovative professionals in all areas of world football, to share their expertise and experience during two days of workshops and presentations.

The Conference kicked off on Wednesday at Madinat Jumeirah and over 300 delegates discussed and debated key topics which impact the future of football, both regionally and globally.

The theme of the Conference is ‘Modern Investment in International Football’, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino heads the list of the distinguished group of chairmen, directors, referees, agents, players and coaches who will discuss and debate key topics which impact the future of football both regionally and globally.

In the first session on Wednesday, Javier Tebas Medrano, President of La Liga, Eric Wynalda, candidate for the presidency of the US Soccer Federation and Marco Brunelli , CEO of Serie A, discussed discuss Best Practice in Professional Football Leagues.

Addressing the globalization of the game and the changes in match schedules, Medrano said: “A Real Madrid fan in China is just as important as a Real Madrid fan in Madrid. We need to increase exposure worldwide.”

In conversation: Brunelli.

In the second session Diego Simeone – Coach of Atletico Madrid, was joined by Hector Cuper, Coach of the Egypt national team, and Fabio Capello, Coach of Jiangsu Suning FC to discuss Investing in the Youth Sector.

Cuper, who has guided Egypt to the World Cup after 28 years, said: “The Egyptian players are very humble. It comes down to education and the system, I like it a lot, they have more respect.”

The first day concluded with Ferran Soriano, the highly innovative CEO of Manchester City; Vadim Vasilyev – AS Monaco Vice President; and Umberto Gandini – AS Roma CEO, addressing the Economic Impact of Football.

Gandini discussed the approval of plans for the development of a new stadium for AS Roma, said: ‘This marks an exciting period for the club, we are performing well on all fronts, and this is a positive chapter for the club.”

Soriano, speaking about the evolution of the game, the growing digital presence and the recent partnership with Amazon, said: “We need to innovate, it’s trial and error. It’s worth taking the risk. It’s going to be spectacular”.

Ferran Soriano

Soriano talks in Dubai.

The program for day two (Thursday) will see Marcello Lippi – Coach of China, join Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee Pierluigi Collina, and top international referee Felix Brych to discuss Football Development and the Impact of Technology.

Legendary players Francesco Totti and Carles Puyol, along with one of the UAE’s best players Ismail Matar, will then discuss Investment Strategies for Players – During and Post Career. In the final session of the Conference, FIFA President Gianni Infantino will address the Future of Investment in Football.

The Conference is held under the umbrella of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, and is organised by Dubai Sports Council under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the Dubai Sports Council.

The Conference was established to bring together the leaders in all areas of football to share their knowledge and ideas.

HE Saeed Hareb with Diego Simeone

HE Saeed Hareb with Diego Simeone.

And in a fitting conclusion to the Conference, the prestigious and highly anticipated Dubai Globe Soccer Awards will be staged on December 28, recognising the best performances of the season from players, coaches and administrators.

The Awards will this year will be presented in 13 categories. The nominees are selected by the Globe Soccer Jury of international footballing coaches, directors and chairmen, and again includes the cream of world soccer vying for the honour of being named the best in the world in their field.

A special Dubai Globe Soccer Award was presented on Wednesday, ahead of the ceremony on Thursday night. Diego Simeone received the Master Coach Special Award, in recognition of his remarkable results in guiding Atletico Madrid to winning La Liga and reaching two Champions League finals.

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Most FIFA World Cup wins - Brazil lead the way with five victories

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Ronaldo was the star back in 2002.

In Brazil, football is a way of life and ingrained in the very DNA of its natives.

It’s no wonder then that despite the emergence of Spain and Germany as football superpowers in the last 15 years, Brazil are still regarded as the most successful team in international football.

The Selecao have graced many a World Cup with their distinct brand of football, an expressive, attacking style wherein even their defenders boast more than their fair share of audacious flair.

The Samba Kings have used their irresistible approach to win a total of five World Cups, one more than any other team has managed as Germany and Italy come closest with four each.

Over the years there have been several iconic figures who have played huge roles in Brazil’s success, perhaps the most notable among them being Pele who took the world by storm in 1958 and helped secure his country’s first ever title before repeating the feat again in 1962 and 1970.

Los Angeles, UNITED STATES: Brazilian captain Dunga holds aloft the FIFA World Cup trophy as Romario (2nd L) exults in front of Branco (L), after Brazil defeated Italy 3-2 in the shoot-out session (0-0 after extra time) at the end of the World Cup final, 17 July 1994 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Italian Roberto Baggio missed his penalty kick to give Brazil its fourth World Cup title after 1958, 1962 and 1970. (Behind, in the center, is UEFA president Lennart Johansson of Sweden; 2nd right, is Brazilian Joao Havelange, head of the FIFA). AFP PHOTO/TIMOTHY CLARY (Photo credit should read TIM CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Legendary captain Dunga lifts the World Cup in 1994.

Following a 24-year long wait, Romario was the centre of the team to then win Brazil’s fourth title along with the likes of Cafu, Bebeto, Dunga and a 17-year-old Ronaldo.

Ronaldo was then the star as Brazil were beaten by France in the 1998 final and again when he led them to their fifth and most recent World Cup triumph in 2002.

Much is expected of the current generation and in Neymar, they have a talisman in the mould of Pele, Romario and Ronaldo to propel them to success along with a strong squad of solid, technically proficient and skilfully blessed players.

Could World Cup 2018 be another Samba tale?

Octo Finissimo Automatic A Third World Record for Bulgari

Bulgari is once again the spotlight, proudly presenting its third successive world record.

The Octo Finissimo Automatic is the slimmest ultra-thin self-winding watch on the market to date.

After introducing its Tourbillon in 2014 and the Minute Repeater in 2016, the Maison unveils its new creation featuring a total thickness of just 5.15mm, while its self-winding movement is just 2.23mm thick for a 40mm diameter.

The iconic Octo is once again pushing the boundaries of watchmaking feasibility.

Bulgari-Finissimo-Octo-5

Bulgari-Finissimo-Octo-3 (1)

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