FIFA appoints Marco van Basten as chief officer for technical development
By James Dale
Last Updated: 23/09/16 5:38pm
Dutch legend Marco van Basten has been put in charge of technical development at FIFA, with president Gianni Infantino saying he can help "protect football".
The former FIFA World Player of the Year will look after all technical areas ranging from football technology innovation to refereeing, and will officially start his role next week.
Van Basten played for AC Milan and Ajax between 1981 and 1995 and made more than 50 appearances for the Netherlands. He is currently the assistant manager of his national team under Danny Blind.
"It's a great honour for me to be appointed for this assignment," Van Basten said on his new role. "I'm very proud to have to opportunity to work in the home of FIFA, the home of world football. I hope to be able to give my contribution to ensure that football remains the number one sport in the world.
"Football is spectacular and it has to stay spectacular in every sense. We all love this sport. That's why I will work hard to develop football technically in the way that our sport will give to the fans and the players always emotions and joy."
Van Basten has previously been head coach at Ajax and AZ Alkmaar while he was manager of the Netherlands from 2004 to 2008, and Infantino believes the appointment will help put football centre-stage once again at the game's governing body.
“Marco van Basten is football."
FIFA president Gianni Infantino
"Marco Van Basten is football," Infantino said. "Discussing with him the last few months and hearing his visions for the game, knowing of course what he has done for the game, for me it was immediately clear that Marco van Basten is a fantastic asset for FIFA, for the whole technical area of FIFA.
"We have to cherish football, we have to protect football and develop football. Marco is a great expert, not only a legend. There is a lot he can do for football, for the game and around the pitch in the world. I'm extremely happy that he joined our team and I'm sure that he will do a great job."