Education and training of professional football players: signing of an agreement between the ministry and UNFP

The Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports and the National Union of Professional Football Players signed on Monday, February 28, an agreement to support the development of the human and intellectual capital of professional players before, during and after their career, with the aim of promoting the contribution of these athletes to youth civic affairs in within the school.

This partnership is framed in a context where more and more footballers and soccer players are facing an educational insecurity that significantly hinders their development as citizens while being an inspiration to all French youth.

Today it is necessary to offer players specific educational solutions adapted to the realities of their daily lives. Indeed, every year, out of 800 young people who develop in 35 training centers, only 14% sign a professional contract. Their chances for retraining and post-career prospects are far from unequivocal and obvious, especially since only 55% of specialists have passed the bachelor’s degree exam.

Building on the skills and positive values ​​inherent in footballers, this partnership aims to strengthen the links between the world of education and the world of sport. Specifically, the signing of this cooperation agreement will promote short-term and long-term synergies with two main objectives:

  1. Recognize the benefits of the Unlimited Players® program and encourage its development for the benefit of football players.

    Created and developed by UNFP, Unlimited Players® offers a wealth of resources designed to train, educate, and employ professional football players and high-potential young people aspiring to become one. This program consists of five complementary modules throughout the lives of these athletes, a training offering that should allow them to thrive, take a more relaxed approach to their careers as well as retrain, and capitalize on multiple second chances to refocus. if the prospects required them to choose a different path.

  2. To promote the contribution of footballers and soccer players to civic affairs among young people in the school environment.

    Through concrete actions in schools across France, the ministry and the UNFP, in particular through its Players for Society® social action program, make it possible to concretize the commitment and power of influence of citizens, footballers and footballers on youth for example in the fight against bullying at school or with sedentary way of life.

Event of February 28, 2022

The signing of this agreement brought together Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer and UNFP Co-President Sylvain Kastendeuch at the Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports, surrounded by players who are particularly sensitive to these issues and to the benefits of these new resources (Steve Savidan, Frédéric Picyonne, Yannick Kauzak, Mikael Ciani ). This event marks the starting point of many years of work on the development of athletes and the impact of republican values ​​on a national scale.

This partnership between the ministry and the National Union of Professional Footballers demonstrates that the education of young footballers today is a key issue for both athletes and their families.
– Jean-Michel Blanquer, Minister of National Education, Youth and Sports

We are very proud to be able to formalize our partnership with the Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports. We will be able, hand in hand, to carry out concrete actions, guided by the same desire: to raise a young man who is liberated and liberated, who has the desire to learn and the means for everything. UNFP has always believed in the ability of players to evolve and reinvent themselves. This agreement highlights the extent to which our decisions allow them to take every chance on their side and thus contribute to their influence and their actions. We would like to thank Jean-Michel Blanquer and Roxane Marachineana, who are paving the way for a whole new generation of high-level French athletes, allowing them to access the best resources and better understand their destiny. Their strength and influence give confidence to a young man looking for guidance. It is our responsibility as a union to respond to these questions and to the current expectations of our corporation, which trusts us. Sports and education must work together to make a great nation.

– Sylvain Kastendeuh, UNFP President

About the National Union of Professional Football Players (UNFP)
Created in 1961, the National Union of Professional Football Players (UNFP) is the only union responsible for protecting the rights, interests and image of professional football players in France and, through FIFPRO, in the world. UNFP, whose representativeness is undeniable (over 90% of the professionals working in France become members every year), brings together about forty employees who every day strive to support football players throughout their career so that they can fully fulfill their sporting role and flourish in their lives as men and women. For sixty years, the UNFP has supported all professional footballers, regardless of their fame, so that they can practice their profession in the best possible conditions and participate in the development of the fundamental tasks of French football.


Description of Unlimited Players®

The program is divided into several complementary products:

  • Unlimited Start® Players
    Accompanies young people with high athletic potential and their families to fully understand the important steps before they enter the training center. It is about encouraging and supporting young people in their dual sport and school project to protect them from the pitfalls of football’s ultra-selective environment. A position and common message for all young people to make schooling and its stages of progression a core development value.
  • Unlimited Player Potential®
    Accompanies young people who have just signed their first professional contract to give them the opportunity to fulfill themselves, to give them the keys to fully understand this new chapter in their lives; to better manage what their future career might be, thanks to the regular intervention of all Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs with special awareness modules regarding everything that affects their professional career and related problems. A dimension specific to the corporation of football players, with a useful cultural education for young people, also suffers from the management of their reputation on social networks and the first questions about their profession.
  • Unlimited Chance for USA® Players
    Accompanies young players who see the doors of professional careers closing in France to give them plenty of opportunities to return to new territories. These young people benefit from the excellence of French learning and help promote it abroad. Thus, they can take a dual-sport / high-level academic course at an American university, which will allow them to receive a globally recognized diploma and universal language practice. Finally, for the better, the opportunity to fulfill your dreams by becoming a professional football player in a country with great potential. Message for young people: The first setback at the very beginning of a career can bounce back with a result that can be exceptional.
  • Main Unlimited Player Program®
    Accompanies professional football players so that they can receive training and professional qualifications. Tailored to their needs and desires, this program allows them to combine success on and off the field to maintain their value throughout and beyond their careers. This is a dynamic that drives athletes to pursue a bachelor’s degree and graduate.
  • Unlimited Re-Start® Players
    Support footballers aged 25 to 35 whose careers have not gone the way they would like by having a unique personalized training session that gives them nine months to succeed in their professional project outside of football: find a job, join a professional training, make your business a reality, etc.

Description of Players for Society®

Players for Society®, initiated by the UNFP, is a community of professional football players committed to changing the state of affairs in society, initiated by the UNFP. Whatever their status, their history or the nature of their project, Players For Society® accompanies players who are committed to the common good, from structuring a project to its promotion and distribution to the media.

Footballers take action on the ground, support projects and participate in information campaigns for a variety of reasons: childhood, support for vulnerable groups, disability, environment, animal welfare, heritage, employment in priority areas, gender equality – women, etc.

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