Tending the grassroots - UEFA Direct 173 out now

Grassroots football, the story of a young wheelchair footballer from FYR Macedonia, and interviews with Romanian coaching legend Mircea Lucescu and Portuguese Football Federation president Fernando Gomes take pride of place in the latest edition of UEFA’s official magazine.

UEFA Direct 173 is available to read in English, French and German
UEFA Direct 173 is available to read in English, French and German ©UEFA.com

Football’s grassroots – so crucial for the sport’s overall well-being – and the story of a courageous young wheelchair footballer from FYR Macedonia who lives and breathes the game are among the highlights in the latest edition of UEFA Direct.

The strength of football lies in its grassroots, and UEFA’s official magazine looks back at the recent UEFA Grassroots Week, which helped give thousands of people across Europe of all ages, genders and social backgrounds the opportunity to get involved in the world’s most popular sport.

UEFA Direct also highlights the winners of the latest UEFA Grassroots Awards, which honour the best clubs, projects and leaders in Europe for their outstanding work in this vital sector of the game.

The UEFA #EqualGame campaign has had a positive impact since its launch last August, transmitting the value that football is open to everyone, irrespective of who they are, what they are and where they come from.

UEFA Direct is highlighting special people who epitomise #EqualGame’s ethos. This month’s pride of place goes to nine-year-old Jane Velkovski from FYR Macedonia, who has spinar muscular atrophy and uses a wheelchair.

Jane refuses to let his condition stop him from playing the game he adores. Football has helped this brave youngster find a place in society – and we hear that his dream is to meet his idol Cristiano Ronaldo.

Portugal will never forget the day that its national team conquered Europe – and neither will Portuguese Football Federation president and UEFA Executive Committee member Fernando Gomes, who vividly recalls that heady night in Paris in July 2016 when the Selecão carried off the EURO title, as well as giving his insights into a fascinating life in football.

“A great coach is a coach who has doubts without letting anyone else know about them” – the wise words of legendary Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu, who takes us on a comprehensive journey through his career, his successes and his footballing philosophies.

Elsewhere in UEFA Direct 173

• Celebrating diversity and inclusion in the FARE Football People Action Weeks
• How the goals were scored at UEFA Women’s EURO 2017
• An innovative technique to treat acute hamstring injuries
• Players and coaches can report suspicions of doping via a new UEFA anti-doping platform and app
• News from the UEFA member associations.

UEFA Direct 173 is available to read in English, French and German