One of the main goals for the future of FIFA, as pledged by Gianni Infantino in his campaign for the presidency of FIFA in 2015, is to “bring football back to FIFA and FIFA back to football.” The organisation aims to reconnect with the roots of the beautiful game and the players and coaches that have helped write the history of the world’s most popular sport, through the FIFA Legends Programme.
It is a programme, not a title or a hall of fame, designed to bring together former top players and coaches from men’s and women’s football to promote and support football and its wider mission around the world.
- Are global representatives of FIFA’s efforts to develop football
- Promote fair play, respect, equality, solidarity and peace through sport
- Support FIFA’s social development projects
“This does not mean simply inviting them to watch matches, but involving them in different areas within FIFA’s scope: development, social activities, promotion of the game. The idea is to promote a closer exchange with fans and with those who administer the game off the pitch.”
FIFA Deputy Secretary General Zvonimir Boban
Since its inauguration in 2016, the FIFA Legends Programme has been the platform to reconnect the world governing body of football with the game’s central figures.
Hundreds of former players and coaches - men and women, from around the globe - have joined the programme and taken part in FIFA tournaments, as well as corporate events such as the FIFA Executive Football Summits, The Best FIFA Football Awards and the FIFA Congress.
The idea behind these appearances is to allow the greats of the game to be centre stage and directly interact with fans from around the world.
Facts and figures:
- 70 FIFA initiatives supported by FIFA Legends leading up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup™
- 500+ FIFA Legends have taken part in activities before and during the World Cup
- 200 million people have been reached by FIFA Legends on FIFA’s Digital platforms and their own social media accounts
- 166 FIFA Legends involved on site at Russia 2018
- 38 pre-match messages delivered to fans at World Cup stadiums
Sharing their views
As well as taking part in FIFA’s tournaments, events and campaigns, the FIFA Legends have been incorporated into football’s decision-making structure through the FIFA Legends Think Tank.
This has become a platform for the game’s elite footballers and coaches, past and present, to discuss the sport’s most pressing topics with FIFA’s senior management and have their voices heard.
The first edition of the FIFA Legends Think Tank took place around the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico City, and it has since become a key part of FIFA’s main corporate events.
Learn more about the Legends:
- FIFA Foundation in Guatemala to prepare assistance
- An interactive session for FIFA Legends
- The Best offering clean start at Clapham Common
- Legends give their take on The Best
- Football on Red Square with Legends, Infantino and Putin
- FIFA Legends visit Moscow State University
- Ethics workshops combine fun, education for U-17s
- Puyol: I want to give back to society what football has given to me