Dias Russo Labour Day

Ruben Dias and Alessia Russo on why player unions matter


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Dias Russo Labour Day
  • In January 2024, Alessia Russo and Ruben Dias were voted into the FIFA FIFPRO World 11 by professional footballers from around the world

  • On Labour Day, also known as International Workers' Day, Dias and Russo discuss the importance of footballers having access to player associations and the services they provide

  • FIFPRO brings together player unions from around the world to ensure that professional men’s and women’s footballers are collectively recognised on a global level

As a trade union, FIFPRO unites the voice of professional footballers and their national unions to ensure they are internationally represented in the decisions affecting their industry.

Working on behalf of more than 66,000 men's and women's players, FIFPRO is driven by the workforce priorities of players and, along with member unions and partners, strives to improve a player’s working environment and overall wellbeing.

Joining a domestic player union unlocks many benefits for professional footballers – from health and legal support to collective bargaining, learning and development opportunities, and assistance when out-of-contract. 

On Labour Day, the annual holiday to celebrate the achievements of workers, FIFA FIFPRO World 11 members Ruben Dias and Alessia Russo discuss the importance of footballers having access to player associations and the services they provide.

Alessia Russo

"I think player unions are super important for us. It gives us a voice and a collective where we can all come together and be on the same mission.

"Ultimately, as players, we all want the same thing. So, I think it’s really important to have that there for our use and I think they do great things."

Russo W11 2023 3

Ruben Dias

"When needed, those kinds of services are very important to all of us because, in the end, it’s the way we can defend ourselves.

"Even though I’ve never been through it, I know of many friends that have been in difficult situations and it’s important to have someone to call and someone to ask for help.

"Some situations are complicated and it’s not easy for a footballer to deal with them because sometimes you’re just dragged into situations that you can’t run away from. It's crucial to have an organisation trying to help."

Ruben Dias W11 2023