FIFA president Gianni Infantino leads another star-studded list of speakers for the Dubai International Sports Conference as world football's top decision-makers and stars assemble for the 13th edition of the annual convention at Madinat Jumeirah on January 2 and 3, a press release said.
The Fifa chief will be making his fifth consecutive appearance at Dubai International Sports Conference (DISC), which is organised by Dubai Sports Council.
The Conference has been bringing football's top stakeholders together since 2006 for extensive discussions on challenges facing the ever-evolving world of football and on ways to develop and enrich the sport at the domestic, regional and international level.
The theme of the 13th edition of DISC is "Football and the Economy", and the names of the speakers for this year was revealed by Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, at Tuesday's press conference in Dubai Design District. The list also includes "O Fenomeno" (The Phenomenon) Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima, a member of Brazil's World Cup winning teams of 1994 and 2002.
Winner of three FIFA World Player of the Year titles - in 1996, 1997 and 2002 - Ronaldo also won the Golden Ball (player of the tournament award) at the 1998 World Cup where Brazil lost to hosts France in the final, and he is the second-highest goal-scorer for his national team, behind Pele.
Ronaldo will share the dais with the winning captain of the 1998 World Cup final Didier Deschamps and Blaise Matuidi, winner of the 2018 World Cup with the French team, in a session titled "The World Cup Experience and Value of Success", which will be the final discussion of the day.
Infantino, meanwhile, will take centrestage in the noon session titled, "More than a Game".
Deschamps has the honour of being one of only three men, alongside Brazilian Mario Zagallo and Germany's Franz Beckenbauer, to win the World Cup as both a player and a manager. Having won the title at home in 1998, he was the manager earlier this year when the Les Bleus clinched the World Cup crown in Russia. He also holds the distinction of being one of only three players in the history of football to have won the World Cup, the European Championship and the Champions League as captain, alongside Beckenbauer and Iker Casillas.
"It is a great honour for us to welcome back Mr Gianni Infantino," said Saeed Hareb. "We are also delighted to welcome two of the legends of the modern game, Ronaldo and Didier Deschamps, 2018 World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi and the Deputy Secretary General of Fifa Zvonimir Boban along with all the other guests, who will be taking part in the discussions and sharing their vast experience with the audience.
"The Dubai International Sports Conference is one of the most important initiatives of Dubai Sports Council and one of the most anticipated events on the international football calendar, bringing together world football's biggest names and providing a platform for people working in the football industry, including media from around the globe, to network with decision-makers, leaders of football associations and clubs, and star players.
"We are really pleased with the glittering array of speakers we have managed to attract for this year and the line-up for the 13th edition confirms the significance of this Conference in the wider football world and cements Dubai's reputation as one of the top sporting destinations of the world."
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