UEFA has a new president and not many people know who he is...

Slovenia’s Aleksander Ceferin has been elected as UEFA’s seventh president at an extraordinary congress in Athens.

The 48-year-old, almost unheard of outside his own country at the start of the campaign, beat his Dutch rival Michael van Praag by 42 votes to 13, with no abstentions.

So… who is he?

Ceferin is a lawyer who took over his father’s business and has spent the last five years sorting out the Slovenian FA’s finances so it could build a proper training centre.

Unlike his predecessor Michel Platini, France’s top goal-scorer, Ceferin does not come from a sports background, and won’t be popular for those who want a former player to represent the body.

What experience can he bring to the table?

Having graduated from Ljubljana University with a law degree, Ceferin joined his father’s firm and started to represent sports clients. His first administrative role was with a futsal team, before joining the board of Olimpija Ljubljana, a new team that rose rapidly, like him, to become champions last season.

Ceferin had already moved on to bigger things by then, though, taking over as president of the Slovenian FA, known as NZS, in 2011.

Although only ranked 59th in the world, there is a sense in European football that Slovenia are on the up again, thanks partly to Ceferin’s leadership.

How long is he set to have the job?

Ceferin will now complete the remaining two and a half years of former president Michel Platini’s term, after the Frenchman was banned from all football activities in December.

What does he say about himself?

During his pitch to the gathered member associations in Athens, Ceferin said it was not for him to say if he is a leader – “if you have to keep saying that loudly, you are probably not a leader” – and claimed it was “disrespectful” to smaller nations to question his credentials when they are so used to doing “more with less”.


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