Legendary former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger has returned to work in an unexpected capacity after over a year out of the game following his departure from the English Premiership side.
The Frenchman has accepted his first role since leaving Emirates Stadium, by agreeing to become FIFA’s new Chief of Global Football Development.
The 70-year-old called time on his Arsenal career at the end of the 2018-19 season, after 22 years on the saddle.
Holding an impressive record as one of the longest-serving Managers in Premier League history, Wenger won 17 trophies during his time with the Gunners, including three Premier League titles.
He has been linked with a number of managerial vacancies across European football over the last year-and-a-half, most recently being at German side, Bayern Munich, touted as being on the lookout for Nico Kovac’s successor at the moment.
But the Frenchman, popularly nicknamed Professor by admirers, will not be arriving at Allianz Arena any time soon, with the World football governing body, FIFA announcing him as their new Chief of Global Football Development on Wednesday.
Speaking at his unveiling, Wenger expressed his excitement after undertaking a new role, with it his desire to “develop the game” in all its forms in the coming years.
“I very much look forward to taking on this extremely important challenge, not only because I have always been interested in analysing football from a broader perspective but also because FIFA’s mission as world football’s governing body is truly global,” he said.
“I believe that the new FIFA we have seen emerging in recent years has the sport itself at the very heart of its objectives and is determined to develop the game in its many different components.”
“I know I can contribute to this objective and will put all my energy into this”, Wenger said
Commenting on Wenger’s appointment, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino said; “Arsene Wenger’s profound knowledge and passion for the different aspects of our game sets him apart as one of the most respected personalities in football. I am delighted to welcome him to the team.
“Since I arrived at FIFA, we have placed football at the centre of our mission, striving to learn from those who know the sport inside out: Arsene is someone who, with his strategic vision, competence and hard work, has dedicated his life to football.
“His arrival is just another example of how we keep strengthening our purpose to bring FIFA back to football and football back to FIFA.”
Earlier this week, the Frenchman had hinted that he has not been the subject of an official approach from Bayern, declaring himself out of the running for the top job at Allianz Arena.
However, the former Gunners’ Coach had previously admitted that he missed the “intensity” of top-level management, but he will now be taking on a new challenge in a quite different capacity.
In this new assignment, Coach Wenger will be required to oversee the growth and development of football for both men and women around the world, with a “particular focus on coach education”. – Goal.com