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The Fédération Internationale des Associations de Footballeurs Professionnels (English - International Federation of Professional Footballers), generally referred to as FIFPro, is the worldwide representative organisation for 65,000 professional football players. FIFPro, with its global headquarters in Hoofddorp, The Netherlands, is presently made up of 55 national players' associations. In addition, there are three candidate members and seven observers.
On 15 December 1965 representatives of the French, Scottish, English, Italian and Dutch players' associations met in Paris, with the objective of setting up an international federation for footballers.
In the second half of June 1966 the first FIFPro congress took place in London, just before the start of the World Championship. The articles of association of FIFPro were thereby adopted and the objectives accurately laid down. FIFPro was responsible for increasing the solidarity between professional football players and players' associations. FIFPro tried to offer the players' associations or other interest associations the means for mutual consultation and co-operation to achieve their objectives. In addition, it wished to co-ordinate the activities of the different affiliated groups in order to promote the interests of all professional football players. Indeed, FIFPro likewise had in mind propagating and defending the rights of professional football players. The emphasis was thereby laid on the freedom of the football player to be able to choose the club of his choice at the end of his contract. It was likewise laid down that FIFPro would be helpful in every required area for setting up interest associations. These are objectives which still apply to this day.
It was originally laid down that a congress would be held once every four years at a minimum - prior to the World Championship. The congress had to uphold the course set out and with a two-third majority vote. The congress is still the most important organ of FIFPro to this very day.
It soon appeared that it was necessary to organize a congress annually, and not to limit this to once every four years. Many congresses have been held in the meantime, such as for example in 1978 in Madrid and in 1979 in Athens and Venice. In the eighties and nineties many memorable congresses have been organized in almost all the large European cities, such as Paris, Athens, Milan, Manchester, Zurich, Ghent, Lisbon, Edinburgh, Copenhagen, Tel Aviv, Rome, Johannesburg, Barcelona, Santiago and Budapest. The latest congress was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in November 2010.
The objectives of FIFPro also mean that not only FIFA applied as a talking partner. UEFA in particular, but also the European parliament and the European Commission appeared to be important points of approach. The national federations also started to become increasingly aware that, in addition to the national players' association, the international trade union FIFPro also played its role.
In recent years, FIFPro has grown from a European organization into a global network. The FIFPro has done much to support countries on other continents - Asia/Oceania, Africa and South America – in their efforts to set up players’ associations. In October 2012, FIFPro welcomed the footballers’ associations of Croatia, Czech Republic, Montenegro and Ukraine as its newest members.
In 2013, FIFPro launched a legal challenge against the transfer system. FIFPro president Phillipe Piat said "the transfer system fails 99% of players around the world, it fails football as an industry and it fails the world's most beloved game". According to FIFPro's European president Bobby Barnes, 28% of the money from a transfer fee is paid to agents, and that many players are not paid on time or at all.. He claims this leads to these players being "vulnerable targets of crime syndicates, who instigate match-fixing and threaten the very existence of credible football competitions". Writing for the BBC, Matt Slater said "professional footballers do not enjoy the same freedoms that almost every other EU worker does", and that "players look at US sport, and wonder why their career prospects are still constrained by transfer fees and compensation costs". Barnes argues that "the system encourages speculative, unsustainable, immoral and illegal investment models like third-party ownership of players".
Current: FIFPro Board
President: Phillipe Piat (UNFP, France)
General-Secretary: Theo van Seggelen (Netherlands)
Board members Bobby Barnes (PAA, England), Louis Everard (VVCS, Netherlands), Rinaldo Martorelli (Fenapaf/Sapesp, Brazil), David Mayébi, (AFC, Cameroon), Mads Øland, (Spillerforeningen, Denmark), Fernando Revilla (SAFAP, Peru), Luis Rubiales (AFE, Spain), Brendan Schwab (PFA, Australia), Dejan Stefanovic (SPINS, Slovenia), Leonardo Grosso (AIC, Italy)
In 1998 for the first time in FIFPro history a board member was elected by the General Assembly.
FIFPro has adopted its mission and its mission statement. To create its vision for the future, FIFPro at first had to define where it stands for, who it is and what it wants to achieve. In the end it has adopted its mission and its mission statement.
Mission: FIFPro supports players
Mission statement: FIFPro is the exclusive collective international voice of the world’s professional footballers
FIFPro World XI
Each year FIFPro invites all professional footballers in the world to compose the best team of the year since 2005. Every player is requested to pick one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three strikers.
In 2009 the world players' union joined hands with FIFA. The team name has changed into the FIFA FIFPro World XI. Each year the eleven players from this elite squad will receive their awards during the FIFA World Player Gala.
From 2005 until 2008, FIFPro also asked the footballers to choose the Player of the Year. From 2009 on, the election for FIFPro Player of the Year merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year and France Football’s Ballon d’Or into one election.
Player marked bold won the Ballon d'Or or FIFA Ballon d'Or in that respective year.
Appearances by player
|1||Cristiano Ronaldo||6||2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012||Manchester United, Real Madrid|
|Lionel Messi||6||2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012||Barcelona|
|3||Iker Casillas||5||2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012||Real Madrid|
|John Terry||5||2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009||Chelsea|
|Xavi||5||2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012||Barcelona|
|6||Andrés Iniesta||4||2009, 2010, 2011, 2012||Barcelona|
|7||Dani Alves||3||2009, 2011, 2012||Barcelona|
|Steven Gerrard||3||2007, 2008, 2009||Liverpool|
|Kaká||3||2006, 2007, 2008||Milan|
|Gerard Piqué||3||2010, 2011, 2012||Barcelona|
|Carles Puyol||3||2007, 2008, 2010||Barcelona|
|Sergio Ramos||3||2008, 2011, 2012||Real Madrid|
|Ronaldinho||3||2005, 2006, 2007||Barcelona|
Appearances by team
|1||Barcelona||32||Messi (6), Xavi (5), Iniesta (4), Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Ronaldinho (3), Eto'o (2), Thuram, Villa, Zambrotta (1)|
|2||Real Madrid||19||Casillas (5), Ronaldo (4), Ramos (3), Alonso, Cannavaro, Zidane (2), Marcelo (1)|
|3||Milan||10||Kaká (3), Nesta (2), Cafu, Dida, Maldini, Pirlo, Shevchenko (1)|
|4||Chelsea||8||Terry (5), Drogba, Lampard, Makélélé (1)|
|Manchester United||8||Ronaldo (3), Vidić (2), Evra, Ferdinand, Rooney (1)|
|6||Juventus||5||Buffon (2), Cannavaro, Thuram, Zambrotta (1)|
|Liverpool||5||Gerrard (3), Torres (2)|
|8||Internazionale||3||Lúcio, Maicon, Sneijder (1)|
|Atlético Madrid||1||Falcao (1)|
Appearances by nationality
|1||Spain||28||Casillas, Xavi (5), Iniesta (4), Piqué, Puyol, Ramos (3), Alonso, Torres (2), Villa (1)|
|2||Brazil||14||Alves, Kaká, Ronaldinho (3), Cafu, Dida, Lúcio, Maicon, Marcelo (1)|
|3||England||11||Terry (5), Gerrard (3), Ferdinand, Lampard, Rooney (1)|
|4||Italy||9||Buffon, Cannavaro, Nesta (2), Maldini, Pirlo, Zambrotta|
|France||6||Zidane (2), Evra, Henry, Makélélé, Thuram (1)|
|Ivory Coast||1||Drogba (1)|
World Player of the Year
|2008||Cristiano Ronaldo||Manchester United|
- FIFPro granted this award between 2005–2008, in 2009 merged with FIFA Player of the Year (converted to FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010).
- "FIFPro announces legal challenge to transfer system". FIFPro Official Website. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
- "Fifpro to launch legal challenge against transfer system because it 'shackles' players". The Telegraph. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
- "Players' union Fifpro to take transfer system to European courts". The Guardian. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
- "Football transfer system must change, says world players' union". BBC Sport. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
- "FIFPro World XI 2005".
- "FIFPro World XI 2006".
- "FIFPro World XI 2007".
- "FIFPro World XI 2008".
- "FIFPro World XI 2009".
- "FIFPro World XI 2010".
- "FIFPro World XI 2011".
- "FIFPro World XI 2012".
- "FIFPro World XI 2013".