Opportunity knocks for Wenger and FIFA

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October 7 – Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he is considering a technical role at world federation Fifa though he has not ruled out returning to a management job after resigning at Arsenal in 2018.

In October the Frenchman will turn 70, but Wenger has no plans of retiring from the game that he revolutionised in England in the 90’s. In an interview with Qatari broadcaster BeIN Sports he spoke about a potential role at FIFA. He said:  “I just want to share what I’ve learned and give it back to the game in a different way. I am not sure I will stop coaching as well. The devil is still in there but I have to see, do I like it? Can I be efficient?”

“This is about the development of coaching efficiency, development of after the career potential for players to educate them and to develop potential jobs for them after they have stopped playing. You forget the drama of a player is you get to the top of the world and then you get to 34 years, where they are young men, it is ‘bye-bye, over’.”

There has been much speculation about where Wenger would go next after the end of his Arsenal career. He had been linked to a return to France and a move to Paris Saint-Germain as a director of football, but at FIFA Wenger would have a broad role.

“There is enough to do there to help the players to come back to help to develop football,” said Wenger. “FIFA has as well to continue to improve the rules of the game, you can still move forward on that front. And always to be ahead of the evolution of society, that is absolutely vital.”

In the 90’s his prescient philosophy and new ideas took English football by storm and he went on to build a successful dynasty at Arsenal before a second decade, complicated by the club’s move to the Emirates Stadium and the emergence of a host of ‘super clubs’ bankrolled by foreign investors, ended his North London reign in turmoil.

Since taking charge of FIFA in 2016, Gianni Infantino has hired former players Marco van Basten and Zvonimir Boban in different roles, but they both left the organization recently to return to club football.

Landing Wenger would be a coup for the world federation and be a part of Infantino’s campaign to improve the image of FIFA. For Wenger the question should be whether FIFA is hiring him for his abilities or the warmth around his feel-good reputation.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1606924372labto1606924372ofdlr1606924372owedi1606924372sni@o1606924372fni1606924372