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FIFPro is contributing to a new initiative that provides international players with an opportunity to develop critical management skills for the ultimate benefit of football's future.

Tailor-made for leading players who have represented their national teams, the UEFA Executive Master for International Players (UEFA MIP) launched today is an educational programme designed to ensure those who excel on the pitch are not lost to the game and can continue to apply themselves at the highest level of administration.

FIFPro, together with the team from UEFA MIP, will educate students about the role of players and trade unions in football governance, collective bargaining and how they can make a positive difference in creating a fair and balanced industry, as well as a profession that all players can feel proud of. FIFPro House, based near Amsterdam, is a knowledge centre where all students of the world game can glean important information about how to protect the welfare of professional footballers worldwide.

This programme is in line with the FIFPro Online Academy course in Sport Management which is another inititiative from the World Players' Union working from the fundamental premise that education is key to take professional footballers to the next level. In this programme (click here for details of how to sign up before July 1, 2015) it is possible to combine a professional football career with an education. Just ask the class of 2015.

"Players are the lifeblood of football," FIFPro General-Secretary Theo van Seggelen said.

"They have a unique perspective and a critical role ensuring the game is protected, managed correctly and well prepared for the challenges that lie ahead."

"Elite athletes thrive on competiton and they know exactly what's required to be effective leaders delivering results under pressure. They have somewhat a head start in business since many of these skills are fundamental when applied to high-level executive positions," Van Seggelen concluded.

For more information about the UEFA Executive Master for International Players (UEFA MIP), click here.