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Factbox - UEFA president Michel Platini

Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Factbox on UEFA president Michel Platini who will announce on Thursday whether he will stand as a candidate for the FIFA presidency in next year's elections:

EARLY DAYS AND PLAYING CAREER

Born: Joeuf, France, June 21, 1955

Joined AS Joeuf as an 11-year-old, moving to Nancy when he was 17 helping them win the French second division title in 1975 and the French Cup in 1978.

Played at the 1976 Montreal Olympics where France reached the quarter-finals and was named French Footballer of the Year in 1976 and 1977.

Played at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina and joined St Etienne in 1979, winning the French title in 1981 but playing in two losing French Cup Finals in 1981 and 1982.

The following year he was in the France side that reached the semi-finals of the 1982 World Cup in Spain.

Moved to Juventus after the World Cup and won the Serie A title in 1984 and 1986, the European Cup Winners Cup in 1984 and the European Cup on the night of the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985 when he scored the only goal from a penalty in Juve's 1-0 win over Liverpool.

During his spell at Juventus he led France to glory in the 1984 European championship at home, finishing as top scorer with nine of France's 14 goals as France won the European title for the first time.

He retired from playing in 1987 after scoring 41 goals in 72 internationals for France and being voted European Footballer of the Year in 1983, 1984 and 1985. In all he made 580 club appearances, scoring 312 goals.

COACHING CAREER

He was France's national coach from 1988 until 1992, overseeing a 19-match unbeaten run in the build-up to the 1992 European championship in Sweden but after an unsuccessful campaign he stepped down as coach.

POLITICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE CAREER

He was the joint-chairman of the organising committee for the 1998 World Cup in France and in 2002 became a member of both the UEFA and FIFA Executive Committees.

In 2007 he defeated Lennart Johansson by 27-23 votes at the UEFA Congress in Duesseldorf and became the president of UEFA.

UEFA PRESIDENCY and FIFA roles

He has implemented changes to the Champions League, aiming to make it more accessible to clubs from eastern Europe and lower-ranked European countries with a two-tier qualifying system.

He also changed the day of the final from its traditional, mid-week Wednesday night spot to a Saturday night.

He has overseen the controversial and complicated introduction of UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules, designed to stop clubs operating beyond their means, a system yet to be proven to really achieve its aims.

He also has sanctioned the expansion of the European championship from its much-loved "perfect" 16-team format to 24 teams from 2016 when it is being staged in France and approved a one-off pan-European championship in 2020 to mark the 60th anniversary of the first European championship in 1960.

As a member of the FIFA executive committee, he has openly stated he voted for Qatar to stage the 2022 World Cup finals, but has also said those finals should be in winter. At one point he floated the idea of a pan-Middle East World Cup, but that idea had little support and no chance of becoming a reality.

Has been a staunch opponent of goal-line technology, instead preferring to use extra officials behind the goal in European club matches, rather than cameras, to decide on whether the ball has crossed the line or not and for them to aid referees in decision making.

Once seen as a close advisor and natural successor to FIFA president Sepp Blatter, he publicly distanced himself from Blatter this year saying he no longer thought Blatter was the right man to be running world football.

(Compiled by Mike Collett)

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