"What will be your outstanding memories from 2004?" This was the question that FIFA.com put to some of the 1,300 guests at the FIFA Gala. Read on for a sample of their highs and lows from this Centennial year of the game's governing body.
In alphabetical order:
Franz Beckenbauer (GER), President of the 2006 FIFA World
Cup Organising Committee
Greece's Euro 2004 victory over Portugal. It was a surprise and at the same time deserved. And the FIFA Centennial, of course.
Joseph S. Blatter (SUI), FIFA President
It's difficult, as there have been so many things. Naturally, the most important thing was having a united FIFA family, celebrating in harmony throughout an unforgettable year. And it's not over yet.
David Collins (WAL), General Secretary of the Football
Association of Wales
Greece's Euro 2004 victory over Portugal. It was a great thing for football and encouraging for so-called 'minnows' like us.
Said Fakhry (SEN), President of the Federation of Senegal
The FIFA Centennial in Paris, where the entire football family came together. When I say family, I think of solidarity, unity of spirit, openness, and tolerance. We are so many different nationalities…
Falcao (BRA), FIFA Futsal World Player 2004
It's been a great year on a personal level, if not quite so great as a team, since we failed to win the World Championship in Taipei. What's more, it's good to see futsal developing.
Buyannemekh Ganbold (MGL), General Secretary of the
Federation of Mongolia
The approval of our second Goal project, involving the construction of a technical centre in Ulan-Bator. It's going to give our football a real shot in the arm. Also, we obtained four points in the Tiger Cup.
Domeka Garamendi (PHI), General Secretary of the Philippine
Our Tiger Cup showing was much better than expected. We'd never even won a match before, but we beat East Timor (2-1), and could have defeated Myanmar too! Against Thailand, we were 1-0 up and then conceded three, which was a shame.
João Havelange (BRA), Honorary President of FIFA
The one-hundredth FIFA Congress in Paris in May, attended by all the FIFA family. It was good for the sport.
Lionel E. Haven (BAH), General Secretary of the Bahamian
We won a match against Saint Lucia with the U-17s, which was really something as we'd never won an U-17s international before.
Danny Jordaan (RSA), 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™
Haven't you heard? (laughs). The African continent getting the World Cup in 2010, the first-ever in Africa! And in the year of the 10th anniversary of democracy in South Africa too. All that happened in the FIFA Centennial year…
General Sukhrob Kosimov (TJK), President of the Federation
The new federation headquarters in Dushanbe, which we inaugurated when President Blatter visited. We have also created 10 new clubs for youngsters.
Urs Linsi (SUI), FIFA General Secretary
The Final of the Women's Olympic Football Tournament in Athens. It was a great game and I really enjoy seeing women's football at such a high level. On the one side, there was the United States, an experienced team led by a generation keen to go out with a bang. On the other were the Brazilians, bursting with vitality and the sheer joy of playing - the new generation of women's football. It was definitely one of the highlights of 2004.
Robert Louis-Dreyfus (SUI), the majority shareholder in
Marseille's defeat to Valencia in the UEFA Cup Final.
Marta (BRA), Third place in the FIFA Women's World
The whole year has been amazing, with the Olympic Games in Athens and the U-19 tournament in Thailand. Plus a FIFA Gala at the age of eighteen…
Mario (SUI), Cook at the FIFA World Player Gala 2004
The Euro 2004 matches in Portugal. And the FIFA Kids' Challenge, a youth tournament organised in the Zurich region. My 16-year-old son played in it, as did his sister, and it was great fun to watch.
Philemon Mikhalifi and Mveli Blamini (SWA), President and
General Secretary of the Federation of Swaziland
For us, it's been very much the year of FIFA. Together with FIFA, we launched a long-term development plan for football in Swaziland. Then FIFA organised a Com-Unity course in our country. Thanks to such programmes, we can make plans for the future.
Manuel Monteiro (MOZ), General Secretary of the Federation
The least memorable aspect has been the poor results of our youth teams. On the plus side, mentalities are changing in Mozambique. And not before time, as football is helping a lot of people.
Hansi Muller (GER), A European Championship winner in
For me, it's the renaissance of football as a spectacle, courtesy of players like Ronaldinho. When he's fouled, he picks himself up and carries on with his dribbling. I remember the goal he scored against AC Milan at the Nou Camp. He feigned a shot with his right foot, and then unleashed an awesome strike with his left that rocketed into the back of the net.
Amangeldi Muraliev (KGZ), President of the Kyrgyzstan
FIFA's anniversary and Mr Blatter's visit to our country. It was a great moment in emotional terms and also tremendous for the technical development of our football through the Goal project and for the Kirghiz people.
Junji Ogura (JPN), FIFA Executive Committee member
Falcao being named "FIFA Futsal World Player 2004" is something very special. As a member of the AFC's Futsal Committee, it makes me very happy. Falcao really impressed me in Chinese Taipei and is among those who helped make the competition a success.
Michel Platini (FRA), FIFA Executive Committee member
Euro 2004, where the organisation and welcome provided by the Portuguese was first class.
Birgit Prinz (GER), FIFA Women's World Player
To be honest, 2004 has not been my best year. In the spring especially, I was suffering because I wasn't playing my best and felt under pressure. It was tough to get back to where I was at the end of last year, when I won my FIFA Women's World Player 2003 title and a World Cup winner's medal in the United States.
Jorge Alberto Rajo (SLV), Vice-President of the Federation
of El Salvador
The Centennial of FIFA, an organisation which provides assistance to the development of football throughout the world, most notably through the Goal programme. In our case, it's about giving priority to the U-17 and U-20 youth teams so we can return to the World Cup. El Salvador last qualified in… 1982!
Bakhtier Rakhimov (UZB), General Secretary of the
Federation of Uzbekistan
Our qualification for the second round of the Asian Zone qualifiers. We also played host to the FIFA President in Tashkent, which was important for the development of football in Uzbekistan. What's more, the Goal Bureau approved our project, so it's been a good year!
Andriy Shevchenko (UKR), Third place in the FIFA World
The birth of my son Jordan. It was easily the greatest thing that's happened to me this year.
Dragan Stojkovic (SCG), President of the Federation of
Serbia and Montenegro
Greece's achievement at Euro 2004 in Portugal. They started as outsiders and caused an upset, which was good for football. Greece are an example to us all. When I spoke to our players in September just before the start of the World Cup qualifiers, I told them that if they played with as much determination as the Greeks, they could go a long way. And so far, they have done so, as we're first in our group with 10 points and have beaten Belgium in Brussels.
Dato' Peter Velappan (MAL), General Secretary of the
Asian Football Confederation (AFC)
The year of world football and 100 years of FIFA. I await the next 100 years with impatience. The game is developing rapidly, in the right direction, and the future is represented by Asia with its 3.7 billion people, some 62% of the world's population.
Angel Maria Villar Llona (ESP), FIFA Executive Committee
The members of the football family who have given me their support and kindness when I have experienced difficult times.
Mme Sombo Wesley (LBR), President of the Liberian
There have been both highs and lows. My personal low point came when we lost to Senegal (3-0) and people set fire to my car and ransacked my shop. The high point was the decision to move the federation headquarters, which is now installed in the stadium offices.