The Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP) has been officially inaugurated as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence by FIFA Chief Medical Officer, Prof Jiri Dvorak, at an official ceremony held in Sao Paulo on Monday 1 July.

UNIFESP is the second Brazilian centre to receive such an honour, and joins a prestigious list of 33 medical centres and clinics worldwide who have also been accredited to this high standard.

According to Moises Cohen, co-ordinator of UNIFESP: “The aim of the worldwide network of FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence is to improve the healthcare of footballers and other athletes. The UNIFESP Centre will focus on prevention treatment, multidisciplinary treatment, scientific researches and new technology in surgery.”

The UNIFESP Centre will be working in conjunction with the University of Sao Paulo, co-ordinated by Dr Andre Pedrinelli. It will be its first experience as a FIFA Medical Centre, which could prove very important for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ and could give support to a city which has a population of 20 million.

The Centre will also be generally open to every player looking for therapy or a second opinion on a specific illness or injury. Jorge Pagura, the medical chief from the Paulista Football Federation, said that he will give all the support to collect data and develop new research in order to prevent injuries.

The table was composed by the rector of the university, director of the medical school, the sports secretaries of the city and the state, Moises Cohen and Jiri Dworak. During the accreditation ceremony, many important footballers were present, such as USA 1994 winner Zetti, former Inter Milan and Brazil midfielder Ze Elias, and ex-Corinthians star Basilio.

Clodoaldo, who helped Brazil win Mexico 1970 before his career was cut short due to injury, labelled UNIFESP “essential for the treatment of athletes” and lamented the fact he did not have the centre at his disposal during his playing days.

Since opening its doors in 1997, the UNIFESP Centre has become an internationally renowned clinic that has provided medical care to all levels of sportspeople, from amateur athletes to Olympic champions. UNIFESP has more than 100 experts associated from sports physicians, physiotherapy, acupuncture, radiological experts, sports psychology, nutrition, exercise physiology, sports cardiology, and sports medicine surgeon experts.

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