The tenth edition of the two-day Globe Soccer event, dedicated to the greats of World football, and held in collaboration with the Dubai International Sports Conference, came to a successful conclusion, having once again shone the spotlight of international football on the United Arab Emirates by bringing the biggest stars of global football to Dubai.
Football and Economics
During two days this was the central theme addressed, a very important subject in an age in which the strength of a club is so closely linked to its economic value. It is no coincidence that today’s top clubs are the ones that over the last few years have seen their turnover increase, an essential condition for putting the best players under contract.
This is especially true of a club like Juventus, which last summer was the scene of the most important transfer in the history of Italian football, with its purchase of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid, three times champion of Europe and the World.
A player’s value is not measured only by their performance on the football pitch, but for the great economic advantage they bring, increasing the odds in all areas of potential business: television rights, royalties on the sales of football kits, penetration into social media.
Football is a Global Product
The thirteenth edition of the Dubai International Sports Conference, promoted by the Dubai Sports Council, hosted the greatest personalities of the world of global football who addressed the most relevant issues in terms of current prospects for the sport, and the new frontiers imposed by its success.
This was enhanced by the presence of Peter Moore, of Liverpool, and Ferran Soriano, of the City Group, who along with Peter Hutton from Facebook, confirmed the importance of new technologies and the influence of the digital and social media worlds for the growth of football. We are indeed in a period of history in which followers of the sport are not just happy to live it for the 90 minutes of a game: football should be a product that can be usable on all fronts, one that really becomes a part of everyday life.
And if this phenomenon must be experienced in every way, this has to be true for everyone: a fact that is well known by Infantino’s FIFA, which while anticipating the World Cup of 2026 uniting Canada, the USA and Mexico in the first joint application in history, has initiated a new formula to be tried out for the World Cup in Qatar in 2022. This new configuration of 48 teams, a must for making football even more global, also includes the condition of involving some neighboring countries, with the dream of peace for the Gulf area, another area that football can only succeed in accelerating.
And this global direction was also endorsed by Boban, Deputy Secretary General of FIFA, who also spoke about the importance of establishing a World Cup for Clubs, in a formula that is completely different from the present one. This version would be contested every 4 years in such a way as not to tire out the players too much, and would include 24 teams in the tournament, with 8 rounds of 3: a real revolution that will also allow this competition to grow in stature.
The New Rules of the Transfer Market
Football has changed on every front: the economy has changed, as have the scenarios, and agents are a key part of this system that is based on the market and on transfers. According to Juventus CFO Fabio Paratici, agents are indispensable for the clubs, but they must be professional and serious.
And for this to happen, said Branchini, we need written laws that are then applied and respected by everyone: you can’t let relatives and family take on the role of agents without knowing the duties involved, without respecting the rules and in this way undermining the transparency and rigor needed for the entire system.
Collina and the VAR
Pierluigi Collina, number one in the FIFA refereeing field, has taken up the role of visiting the headquarters of the Emirates’ Football Federation to meet with a group of Gulf referees, always within the framework of the International Sports Conference and Globe Soccer. This has become a regular event for this category, and this time it was anticipated even more than usual in view of the completed experimental phase of VAR.
It was in these headquarters that Collina showed some case studies on the use of VAR during the World Cup to those present, demonstrating the importance that the technology had in the success of Russia 2018, and reiterating that this technology should be an instrument in the hands of the referees, in support of the work they do: not an enemy but a faithful friend on the football field.
Of course, there are still many steps forward to take: in the future we can work on optimizing application times during the course of the match, but for now – Collina said – accuracy has complete priority over the speed factor.
Globe Soccer Awards
The two days ended with the grand finale of the Awards, the Madinat Jumeirah evening Gala, illuminated by the stars of football, who were awarded for the successes they had achieved during the 2018 season.
Three of the prizes were reserved for Cristiano Ronaldo, in a year that has really stood out as the best of his career. Also, among the winners were the other Ronaldo, the Phenomenon, whose career as champion was also consecrated by Globe Soccer, along with the careers of Matuidi, the French World Champion, and of Fabio Capello, exceptional champion among those who direct football from the bench.
And speaking of coaches and the World Cup, it was Deschamps himself who won the Best Coach award, after leading France to a wonderful victory in Russia 2018. He is among the few who have won the World Cup first as footballer and then as coach.
There was also room for Atlético de Madrid, who after taking home the Europa League, showed its strength by beating their cousins, Los Blancos, in the competition among the best in Europe, the UEFA Super Cup. Similarly, there was room again for Juventus – which Atlético de Madrid will have to meet in February for the knockout rounds of the Champions League – which saw its CFO Fabio Paratici awarded as Best Sporting Director, for the role he played in one of the most important transfers of last Summer, and in history, that of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid to Juventus.
An Award that completes the triumphs of Juventus this year – 5 in total among those awarded to Cristiano Ronaldo, Matuidi and Paratici – and that inevitably calls for another one, for CR7’s agent, Mendes, for whom no more presentations are needed, given that he has a trophy stand full of awards from the Emirates.
Here are all the Awards:
- Best Arab Referee of the Year: Mohammed Abdullah
- Arab Career Award: Sami Al-Jaber
- Coach Career Award: Fabio Capello
- 433 Fans’ Award: Cristiano Ronaldo
- Best Club of the Year: Atletico Madrid
- Best Sporting Director of the Year: Fabio Paratici
- Best Agent of the Year: Jorge Mendes
- Special Career Award: Zvonimir Boban
- Player Career Award:BlaiseMatuidi
- Best Coach of the Year: Didier Deschamps
- Player Career Award: Ronaldo Nazario de Lima
- Best Player of the Year: Cristiano Ronaldo
- Kooora Sport Idol: Cristiano Ronaldo