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Mon. 15 July 2019

Graduation Ceremony for the students of the 19th edition of the FIFA Master

Picture: The winners of the "Alberto Madella Award", Leonardo and Prof. Oswald

The Graduation Ceremony for the 19th edition FIFA Master class was held in the Grand Council Room at the Chateau of Neuchâtel on Friday 12th July 2019.

This important event was opened by Mr. Pierre Cornu, President of the CIES Foundation Council, who called the postgraduates to enter the room in front of the class families, friends and distinguished guests who were all warmly welcomed to the Graduation.

This special event rewarded the hard work of the entire class over the last year and also provided a unique moment during which students could proudly reflect on the great adventure of the FIFA Master and the new and lasting friendships which has been created.

Mr. Alain Ribaux, President of the State Council for the Canton of Neuchâtel and official representative of the Government from the Canton of Neuchâtel, Mr. Simon Bradbury, Pro-Vice Chancellor & Dean of Arts, Design and Humanities at De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester (UK), Professor Emanuele Vendramini, Professor at SDA Bocconi-School of Management, Milan (Italy) and official representative of SDA Bocconi-School of Management and Professor Felix Kessler, Vice-Rector and Professor at the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland), all delivered speeches to the postgraduate students.

After a musical interlude by Mr. Pascal Crisinel, the Manager of Global Academic Network and Interagency Partnership at FIFA, Mrs. Cinzia Catalfamo, spoke about her vision for the future of football and provided some advice and guidance that will help the students throughout their careers.

To continue, Mr. Mike-David Burkhard, as the official representative of the FIFA Master Alumni association, spoke about the importance of the alumni community in the world of sport.

The patron for the 19th edition, and special guest at the ceremony, was former Brazilian International footballer, 1994 FIFA World CupTM winner and current Paris Saint-Germain Sporting Director, Mr. Leonardo de Araújo, known as Leonardo. Leonardo gave an inspirational speech about his early life and career in Brazil, and noted the importance of the courses of the FIFA Master he attended in 2003 at SDA Bocconi in Milan and which helped him to better understand the interactions between the key stakeholders of the football industry.  

Following Leonardo’s speech, the postgraduates were called one by one by Mr Vincent Schatzmann, CIES General Secretary, to receive their degree certificates from both CIES Director Professor Denis Oswald and Leonardo.

Then, the "Alberto Madella Award", which rewards the group of students who have made the best Final Project presentation was announced. For 2019, this award went to the Group 7 project group of Ms. Alyssa Lagonia (Canada/Italy), Mr. Arthur Loye (France), Ms. Erica Puppo (Brazil/Italy) and Mr. Marius Zanin (Australia/Italy) for their research and presentation on the Professionalisation of Women's Football in Italy. Finally, the Swiss Association of Sports Managers (ASMS) Award for the best student throughout the year was presented to Ms. Ekaterina Bragina who is from Russia.

Later, Ms. Marie Shin (South Korea) and Mr. Julian Smith (Portugal/USA) representing the graduates of the 19th edition addressed the class and looked back on the unforgettable memories created by their academic journey over the past year.

Before closing the ceremony, the President of the CIES Foundation Council thanked the Scientific Committee, administrative and Co-ordination staff of the three partner universities for their hard work. He then invited the new graduates to continue the celebrations with their families and friends by enjoying a cocktail in the courtyard of the Château of Neuchâtel.

CIES, De Montfort University, SDA Bocconi School of Management and the University of Neuchâtel warmly congratulate the new graduates of the 19th edition of the FIFA Master and wish them every success for the future. 

FIFA Master - International Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport, ranked No.1 Course in Europe 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019 by the SportBusiness International global rankings. 

Organised by CIES in partnership with De Montfort University (United Kingdom), SDA Bocconi School of Management (Italy) and the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland).