Arsène Wenger: "the better the talent development, the better the results at professional level"


For the fourth edition of our talk series, host Pascal Zuberbühler welcomed ex-Arsenal coach Arsène Wenger to talk about his long career as a player and coach and his role at FIFA.

Even though he has not been an active coach for three years, the name Arsène Wenger still electrifies football fans. This was certainly the case at the FIFA Museum last night. Wenger was our special guest at the fourth edition of the talk hosted by FIFA Museum Ambassador Pascal Zuberbühler and several jerseys from Wenger's old club Arsenal FC were visible in the audience. After the talk, a fans lined-up to get a photo and an autograph from the legendary coach.

In the discussion with Zuberbühler, Wenger first talked about his career as a player and coach, which took him from the lowlands of French amateur football to the unbeaten double winner in England and the Champions League final. Most of the audience were surprised by Wenger's statement that he never had a real coach until he was 19 years old. Asked about the secret of his success as a coach, Wenger said: "The secret at the top level is to convince the players to follow your instructions. Then you can make them better".

In the second part of the talk, Wenger and Zuberbühler talked about Wenger's job at FIFA as Director of Global Football Development. One of the most important goals of this job is to give every talent a chance. To achieve this, he said, it is crucial to improve talent development worldwide, because there are still big differences between FIFA's member associations. The youth sector is a particular area of focus for Wenger, because "the better the talent development, the better the results at professional level".

Before the evening came to an end, the audience had the opportunity to ask questions. Here Wenger explained with a smile why he had not become Swiss national team coach in the summer. Although he had Swiss ancestors, they had already emigrated from Switzerland to Alsace in the Middle Ages. That's why he wasn't Swiss enough.

This was the final talk hosted by Pascal Zuberbühler for this year. The FIFA Museum Ambassador will return next year with new guests and new topics.