Protecting the European sports model – our greatest achievement in 2021 | Within UEFA


Looking back on an unforgettable year for UEFA and the European football community, it is difficult to single out our greatest achievement.

The call for “winners” is just too long. Club and national team captains have won UEFA trophies in no less than seven competitions: EURO 2020, the Nations League, the Men’s and Women’s Champions Leagues, the Europa League, the Championship finals Europe Under-21 and the Futsal Champions League.

The launch of new rounds of club competition has created a win-win situation for both women’s and men’s football. The sweeping changes to the Women’s Champions League have dramatically improved its competitive balance, visibility and prestige, while the launch of the Europa Conference League has made our men’s competitions more inclusive, with a number of clubs making their mark. first appearance on the European scene. .

Football has even won its own sporting victories over the pandemic, first by organizing so many matches throughout the year in a context of constantly evolving health regulations; second, by showing that supporters can return to the stadiums safely.

Over the past 12 months, every member of our community has made a significant contribution to these remarkable successes – national associations, players, national leagues, clubs, coaches, match officials, fans, our partners and the media.

However, our most important achievement deserves more recognition: protecting the European sporting model that guides the mission of UEFA, its member associations and countless other sports organizations. Based on a pyramid structure that links grassroots football at the bottom to elite clubs at the top, the model works on a dual principle. Not only are the revenues from professional competitions reinvested in the game as a whole; clubs are also promoted or relegated to sporting merit.

Few organizations embody the values ​​of the European sporting model more strongly than UEFA. Every four years, our European Championship funnels a large portion of its income to football development projects across the continent through the HatTrick program.

From 2020 to 24, € 775.5 million in EURO 2020 revenue will flow to all levels of the football pyramid – from training male and female coaches to supporting grassroots football clubs and promoting training of talented young players who dream of participating in future EUROs. Likewise, the model’s commitment to open competition has been a key factor in our creation of the Europa Conference League. All 55 national associations are now guaranteed to be represented in at least one UEFA competition every season.

Last April’s unsuccessful attempt to launch a closed ‘super league’, which focused solely on filling the bank accounts of a few clubs, threatened values ​​that are at the very heart of the European sporting model and the mission of the European Union. UEFA. His demise, sparked by political and popular condemnation from across the continent, was our most important shared victory in 2021.

I want to express my personal gratitude to each of you for standing with UEFA at such a difficult time. Your support has ensured that all of our achievements, for the years to come, will continue to build a sustainable future for football in Europe.


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