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To launch the 'Mind the Gap' project, FIFPro invited former professional footballers working in the graphic design industry to make a logo.

‘Mind the Gap’ aims to help athletes transition to a new career after sports. FIFPro has begun working with 14 partners on the project which is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

We picked a shortlist of three logo proposals. They were submitted by Dennis Iliohan (Netherlands), Carola Soberg (Sweden) and Bogdan Teleaba (Romania).

We have asked the project partners to vote for their preferred logo, and we will announce the winner shortly.


Dennis Iliohan

Former Dutch professional footballer and design company owner

Dennis Iliohan 640sm

Dennis' design:
"I worked on this logo with the small team of staff in my office. The idea of the three footballers in different positions comes from Darwin’s theory on the evolution of the human species. We wanted to make the comparison between this and the evolution of a footballer’s career as he or she transitions to a second career."

Dennis' story:
"I started thinking about a career after football at 29. I thought in 3 or 4 years my career is over. I told my club I wanted to study small business management. Between training sessions, I studied in the club canteen for a one-year online business course. Then I bought a printer and a computer and set up a business in my kitchen. The managing director of the last club I played for said ‘we can’t give you the contract you want but we will help you start your business.’ He gave me a job for 15,000 euros to put branding on 40 vans of his industrial glue company. I had to work very hard in the early days – I also worked as a postman for 6 months to make ends meet. The company I set up in my kitchen makes signage, brochures and websites for everyone from our local Dutch butcher to a big tire company from China."

Dennis' websites: ilio and WeAreMany 

 

MG Dennis Iliohan 640

Dennis Iliohan now and while playing for ADO Den Haag against Barcelona in 1996


Carola Söberg

Former Sweden national-team goalkeeper and graphic designer

Carola Soberg 640

Carola's design:
"During the sketching process, I tested multiple symbols, badges, forms, colours and ideas. I came to the conclusion that the logo should speak for itself so people could make the connection between sport and education straight away (without making it too obvious). I wanted it to be modern and strong, but at the same time tell a story."

Carola's story:
"Football was always my main goal but being a female player is hard because most players don’t make much money. My first job after graduating was at an advertising agency in my hometown Karlstad, Sweden. In order to train and play football with a club as a semi-professional, I was making a 200-kilometer round trip after work five or six times a week. Later, I joined Umeå IK, the biggest club in Sweden at that time. By then, I was playing in the Champions League, the national team and in the Swedish league. I could not carry on with my job at the advertising agency so I started my own company. I wanted to be able to decide when and where I worked. Since then I have helped many companies build their brands visually. My clients include former teammates Meghan Klingenberg (USA) and Lisa Dahlkvist (Sweden). I ended my career as a footballer in November but I am still connected to football as an under-19 team boys coach, and as brand director of Connect Management Group, which advises female athletes."

Carola's website: CASO 

MG Carola Soberg 640

Carola Söberg now and while playing for Sweden


Bogdan Teleaba

Romanian semi-professional footballer and design student

Bogdan Teleaba 640sm

Bogdan's design:
"The logo I designed has a sporty font; I wanted to give it a feeling of movement. The word ‘Mind’ represents a player’s football career and the word ‘Gap’ represents life afterwards. I very much identify with the campaign because of my experience as a football player."

Bogdan's story:
"My father was a professional footballer for a first-division club in Romania but he had to retire at the age of 28 because of a cruciate knee ligament injury. He realized he didn’t know anything else. He started doing casual jobs and then began a university course in human resource management. Now he has a very good job in human resources. I played for 12 years in all the youth teams of the same first-division club. When I was 14, he said to me it’s very important for you to find something else besides football. You could say I learnt from his experience. I was interested in web design and I decided to move to Denmark to study multimedia design and play as a semi-professional player. Like him I have also had a serious cruciate ligament injury and I couldn’t play for a year. Now I have the same injury again."

MG Bogdan Teleaba 640

 

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