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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, Netherlands, is made up of 58 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, Zürich, 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".
The FIFPro board consists of eleven members, including president Philippe Piat, for the term 2013–2017. He has been president since the FIFPro congress in Ljubljana in October 2013. The board members are:
- President: Philippe Piat (UNFP, France)
- Vice Presidents: Brendan Schwab (PFA, Australia), Luis Rubiales (AFE, Spain)
- Deputy Vice President: Rinaldo Martorelli (Fenapaf/Sapesp, Brazil)
- Board members Bobby Barnes (PAA, England), Louis Everard (VVCS, Netherlands), Leonardo Grosso (AIC, Italy), David Mayébi, (AFC, Cameroon), Mads Øland, (Spillerforeningen, Denmark), Fernando Revilla (SAFAP, Peru), Dejan Stefanovic (SPINS, Slovenia),
- General-Secretary: Theo van Seggelen (Netherlands)
In 1998 for the first time in FIFPro history a board member was elected by the General Assembly.
Founded on December 15, 1965, FIFPro has 58 full members, 2 candidate members and 5 observer members. Upon graduation to the next level, new members sign an affiliation agreement that promotes loyalty, integrity and fairness as well as principles of good governance, including open and transparent communications, democratic processes, checks and balances, solidarity and corporate social responsibility.
(Not official FIFPro members)
FIFA FIFPro World XI
Each year since 2005 FIFPro invited all professional footballers in the world to compose the best team of the year, named the FIFPro World XI. Every player was requested to pick one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards.
In 2009, the world players' union joined hands with FIFA. While the format remained the same, the award name changed to the FIFA FIFPro World XI. This became the only team award picked by all professional footballers worldwide. Each year in September, approximately 45,000 voting ballots are sent out to professional footballers' associations that are FIFPro members or candidate members, who are then asked to distribute the forms among all professional football players in their countries. In October these are returned to FIFPro's head office. At the end of November, FIFPro and FIFA together announce the 55-player shortlist, consisting of 5 goalkeepers, 20 defenders, 15 midfielders and 15 forwards.
From 2005 until 2008, FIFPro also asked the footballers to choose the FIFPro 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 in 2010 combined with France Football's Ballon d'Or into one award, the FIFA Ballon d'Or.
Appearances by player
|1||Lionel Messi||9||2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015||Barcelona|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||9||2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015||Manchester United, Real Madrid|
|3||Andrés Iniesta||7||2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015||Barcelona|
|4||Sergio Ramos||6||2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015||Real Madrid|
|Xavi||6||2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013||Barcelona|
|6||Dani Alves||5||2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015||Barcelona|
|Iker Casillas||5||2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012||Real Madrid|
|John Terry||5||2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009||Chelsea|
|9||Steven Gerrard||3||2007, 2008, 2009||Liverpool|
|Kaká||3||2006, 2007, 2008||Milan|
|Manuel Neuer||3||2013, 2014, 2015||Bayern Munich|
|Gerard Piqué||3||2010, 2011, 2012||Barcelona|
|Carles Puyol||3||2007, 2008, 2010||Barcelona|
|Ronaldinho||3||2005, 2006, 2007||Barcelona|
|Thiago Silva||3||2013, 2014, 2015||Paris Saint-Germain|
Appearances by club
Players in italics have made appearances with multiple clubs, and appearances are separated accordingly.
|1||Barcelona||42||Messi (9), Iniesta (7), Xavi (6), Alves (5), Piqué, Puyol, Ronaldinho (3), Eto'o (2), Neymar, Thuram, Villa, Zambrotta (1)|
|2||Real Madrid||29||Cristiano Ronaldo (7), Ramos (6), Casillas (5), Alonso, Cannavaro, Marcelo, Zidane (2), Di María, Kroos, Modrić (1)|
|3||Milan||10||Kaká (3), Nesta (2), Cafu, Dida, Maldini, Pirlo, Shevchenko (1)|
|4||Chelsea||9||Terry (5), Drogba, Lampard, Makélélé, David Luiz (1)|
|Manchester United||9||Cristiano Ronaldo (3), Vidić (2), Evra, Ferdinand, Rooney, Di María (1)|
|6||Bayern Munich||8||Neuer (3), Lahm (2), Ribéry, Robben, Kroos (1)|
|7||Juventus||6||Buffon (2), Cannavaro, Pogba, Thuram, Zambrotta (1)|
|8||Liverpool||5||Gerrard (3), Torres (2)|
|Paris Saint-Germain||5||Silva (3), Ibrahimović, David Luiz (1)|
|10||Internazionale||3||Lúcio, Maicon, Sneijder (1)|
|Atlético Madrid||1||Falcao (1)|
|Valencia||1||David Villa (1)|
Appearances by nationality
|1||Spain||35||Iniesta (7), Ramos, Xavi (6), Casillas (5), Piqué, Puyol (3), Alonso, Torres (2), Villa (1)|
|2||Brazil||22||Alves (5), Kaká, Ronaldinho, Silva (3), Marcelo (2), Cafu, Dida, Lúcio, David Luiz, Maicon, Neymar (1)|
|3||England||11||Terry (5), Gerrard (3), Ferdinand, Lampard, Rooney (1)|
|4||Argentina||10||Messi (9), Di María (1)|
|5||Italy||9||Cannavaro, Buffon, Nesta (2), Maldini, Pirlo, Zambrotta (1)|
|Portugal||9||Cristiano Ronaldo (9)|
|7||France||8||Zidane (2), Evra, Henry, Makélélé, Pogba, Ribéry, Thuram (1)|
|8||Germany||6||Neuer (3), Lahm (2), Kroos (1)|
|9||Cameroon||2||Samuel Eto'o (2)|
|Serbia||2||Nemanja Vidić (2)|
|Netherlands||2||Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben (1)|
|12||Colombia||1||Radamel Falcao (1)|
|Côte d'Ivoire||1||Didier Drogba (1)|
|Croatia||1||Luka Modrić (1)|
|Sweden||1||Zlatan Ibrahimović (1)|
|Ukraine||1||Andriy Shevchenko (1)|
|1||Europe||85||Croatia (1), England (11), France (8), Germany (6), Italy (9), Netherlands (2), Portugal (9), Serbia (2), Spain (35), Sweden (1), Ukraine (1)|
|2||South America||33||Argentina (10), Brazil (22), Colombia (1)|
|3||Africa||3||Cameroon (2), Côte d'Ivoire (1)|
FIFPro World Player of the Year
|2008||Cristiano Ronaldo||Manchester United|
FIFPro Young Player of the Year
|2005||Wayne Rooney||Manchester United|
FIFPro granted this award between 2005–2008, after which it was discontinued.
- "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.
- "PHILIPPE PIAT NOMINATED FOR FIFPRO PRESIDENT". FIFPro. 23 September 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
- "FIFPRO BOARD". FIFPro. 16 December 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
- "Interview with FIFPro General Secretary Theo van Seggelen". Bein Sports. 10 June 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
- "PLAYER UNION MOVEMENT GROWING WORLDWIDE". FIFPro. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
- "Members – FIFPro World Players' Union". FIFPro. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
- "RONALDINHO VOTED FIFPRO WORLD PLAYER OF THE YEAR AGAIN". FIFPro. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- "THE WORLD XI: FOR THE PLAYERS, BY THE PLAYERS". FIFpro. 24 November 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
- "The FIFA Ballon d'Or is born". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "FIFPRO WORLD XI 2004/2005".
- "FIFPRO WORLD XI 2005/2006".
- "FIFPRO WORLD XI 2006/2007".
- "FIFPRO WORLD XI 2007/2008".
- "FIFA FIFPRO WORLD XI 2009".
- "FIFA FIFPRO WORLD XI 2010".
- "FIFA FIFPRO WORLD XI 2011".
- "FIFA FIFPRO WORLD XI 2012".
- "FIFA FIFPRO WORLD XI 2013".
- "2014 FIFA FIFPro World XI: How they finished". FIFPro World Players' Union. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- "FIFA/FIFPro World XI 2015". FIFA.com. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
- "Ronaldinho & Rooney scoop awards". BBC Sport. 19 September 2005. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- "Kaká voted FIFPro World Player of the Year". SAFP. 1 January 2007. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- "Ronaldo voted FIFPro World Player of the Year". UEFA. 27 October 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- "Lionel Messi profile". 101GreatGoals. Retrieved 24 November 2015.