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The Argentinian Football Players’ Association (FAA) is among the many FIFPro members that offer training sessions to players who are not under contract. But the wide range of services offered by the Argentinian union to unaffiliated players is something unique.

 

Here’s a summary of the benefits provided by the FAA and the El Futbolista Foundation. They are on offer throughout the year. Carlos Pandolfi, president of the FAA: ‘We want to emphasize that the effort we put in to look after unaffiliated players this way is aimed at putting them on a level with all other active professional players, seeing them as “another team”, while they enjoy support from the union that continues to represent them, at a stage in their footballing life when they certainly need us most.

 

Training unaffiliated players

  • Physical and technical training sessions from Monday to Friday under the guidance of two coaches (with professional experience), an assistant coach, and a physical education teacher.
  • They do technical and tactical work as well as physical work (for stamina, strength, speed and flexibility). They also work on specific skills with goalkeepers.
  • Friendly games are organized against various teams in Primera División A, Primera B Nacional, Primera B, Argentino A and B, as well as representatives from the interior of the country. All of this is done to optimize their sporting performance so that they can resume life in their chosen sphere of work as early as possible. These confrontations help generate an atmosphere of competition between the players, in order to channel their longing to get back to playing and showing themselves and others their real footballing level.
  • The friendly matches are filmed, the aim being to build up an archive of films in the El Futbolista Foundation and in the FAA that can be shown to clubs in Argentina or abroad. Copies are provided to the players so that they can promote them.

 

Educational and cultural training

On the days that players are training or playing, the following courses are delivered:

  • “Publishing sports videos”, to enable players to publish their own film material.
  • “Nutrition in Football”, delivered by a graduate in nutrition.
  • “How to Start your own Business”, which gives an opportunity to obtain tools that will be useful if economic activities are taken up in parallel with or in addition to practising professional football.
  • “Regulations and Relations with Referees” consists of talks with referees, aimed at exploring the regulations and trying to improve relations between players and referees

 

At the headquarters of the El Futbolista Foundation they have an opportunity to pursue all the educational activities that are run there for professional players, like language courses (English, Portuguese and Italian), Coaching in Children’s and Youth Football, Public Speaking in Sports, PC Operation, Cooking Courses, Trades (electrician, gas fitter, air conditioning installer etc.)

 

For courses that are delivered outside the Foundation, grants are offered for studies at university or at tertiary level, and the completion of secondary education is facilitated.

 

Medical services

  • Before they begin training, a physical study of their aptitude for practising sports is carried out on all the unaffiliated players, in order to get them ready to perform exercises of high intensity. It consists of an evaluation of their heart and clinical condition, and of any injuries, all free to the player.
  •  Medical and diagnostic consultations are offered free to the players.
  • They are offered dental treatment at very special rates.

 

Other services

  • Players are offered an opportunity to have their own website, including photos and videos.
  • The unaffiliated players are offered the services of a social assistance office free to enable them to discuss their worries about their present and future.’

 

 

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