On 17 May 2004, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter received another honour when French President Jacques Chirac named him a "Knight of the French Legion of Honour".
Chirac bestowed the title upon Blatter at a ceremony held in the presence of the Executive Committee in the Elysée Palace in Paris, and praised the FIFA President for his services to football: "Thanks to your career development and your experience, you are one of the people that know modern football the best. This allows you to bring the spirit, as well as the human and sporting dimension of the game to life, and to keep the economic, diplomatic and international aspects of football under control."
Joseph S. Blatter was deeply moved to receive the award: "I would like to thank France and its President for this wonderful honour. My admission into the French Legion of Honour is also an award for football and for the philosophy that I, together with the whole of FIFA and the Executive Committee, believe in."
Napoleon Bonaparte created the French Legion of Honour on 20 May 1802 in order to reward military achievements or other forms of extraordinary service to the State. The Legion of Honour has five ranks: knight, officer, commander, grand officer and grand cross. Today, two-thirds of the members of the Legion of Honour have a military background, while the remaining third are civilians.
Click here to view the photos of the ceremony