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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Simeone, Totti and Puyol confirmed as guest speakers at Dubai International Sports Conference

Atletico Madrid manager and former captains of Roma and Barcelona among those present for the three day event held at Madina Jumeirah.

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone will be in the UAE this week for the Dubai International Sports Conference. Christina Quicler / AFP
Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone will be in the UAE this week for the Dubai International Sports Conference. Christina Quicler / AFP

Diego Simeone, Francesco Totti and Carles Puyol are among the marquee names joining Fifa president Gianni Infantino as guest speakers at this week’s Dubai International Sports Conference.

The event, taking place in the emirate for the 12th time, will be staged at Madinat Jumeirah on Wednesday and Thursday, culminating in the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards.

Infantino had been confirmed earlier this month to headline the conference, entitled “Modern Investment in Football”. On Sunday, the Dubai Sports Council announced a full list of names alongside its schedule, with Atletico Madrid manager Simeone, recently retired Roma captain Totti and former Barcelona captain Puyol confirmed.

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Also in attendance will be Italy’s 2006 World Cup-winning manager Marcello Lippi, now in charge of the China national team, former England manager Fabio Capello and current Egypt manager Hector Cuper. UAE veteran Ismail Matar and Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano will speak at the forum too.

“We are delighted to be welcoming this incredible list of speakers to the 12th Dubai International Sports Conference, which has become such an important event on the world football calendar,” said Saeed Hareb, secretary general of the Dubai Sports Council.

“The conference is now established as a key platform for discussion on the global development of the game, and we look forward to listening to and learning from these eminent guests. In particular, we are keen to learn how to continue to strengthen and support the growth of the sport in the UAE and GCC.”

Fifa president Infantino will address the conference during its final session on Thursday, before the awards ceremony takes place that night.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar have been nominated for this year’s best player, together with Gianluigi Buffon, Sergio Ramos, Kylian Mbappe and Paulo Dybala.

Zinedine Zidane, Antonio Conte, Jose Mourinho and Massimiliano Allegri are vying for coach of the year.

The Dubai Sports International Conference, organised by Dubai Sports Council, was established in 2006 to bring together leaders in all areas of football including chairmen, directors, referees, agents, players and coaches to share their expertise and experience during two days of workshops and presentations.

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