Meet the 'Faces of FIFA'... (Saba, Alexandre & Marisa)

Published:

FOF march

FIFA is one of the most recognisable and well-known sports institutions. Many of us know its function as the organisation responsible for upholding the Laws of the Game and, in doing so, providing a common, simple language to support the unique, unifying power of football.

FIFA’s open and democratic structure gives the beautiful game the foundation it needs to grow and thrive. Founded in 1904 and based in Zurich, it has developed a commitment over the years to delivering development projects and activities, competitions and events. With 211 member associations, it is a truly global organisation with its influence very much felt throughout the world.

What is not so well-known is who the people are that keep this extraordinary institution ticking over. Who are the 'Faces of FIFA'? Where are they from? What do their roles entail? Why did they choose to work there? What exactly does it mean to work for international football's governing body?

Find out what Saba, Alexandre and Marisa do at FIFA:


FOF Saba

Name: Saba Ghadimzadeh

Job title: Junior Legal Counsel

Age: 28

Nationality: United Kingdom

Date joined FIFA: 2015

What exactly do you do at FIFA?

I work as a lawyer in the Commercial Legal team. I am lucky to enjoy a great breadth of interesting work, including drafting and negotiating sponsorship and other commercial agreements, working with FIFA Marketing to implement and manage FIFA’s commercial programme, drawing up terms and conditions for various FIFA events, and advising on the legal aspects of FIFA competition matters. I am privileged to work with a talented and supportive group of lawyers, and to advise the dynamic FIFA Marketing team.

Why did you want to work for FIFA?

I have always wanted to work in a multi-cultural environment as part of an international organisation promoting a good cause on the world stage. The opportunity to work for FIFA allows me to dedicate my training as a lawyer in London to such use, whilst still being able to work on interesting deals with global business players.

Who is your favourite team of all time?

Hailing from Coventry, my loyalties lie with Coventry City, but since my parents come from Iran I also have to give a shout-out to Persepolis FC (a.k.a. “Arteshe Sorkh”)!


FOF Alexandre

Name: Alexandre Adriano

Job title: French Translator

Age: 27

Nationality: Portugal

Date joined FIFA: 2015

Why did you want to work for FIFA?

Like many FIFA employees, I’ve always loved football. I began playing for a club at nine and stopped only for my studies. It has always been my goal to work in football. Therefore, when I saw the job ad from FIFA related to what I’d studied, there was no way I couldn’t apply. You can imagine how happy I was when they told me I’d got the job.

What exactly do you do at FIFA?

Like all my colleagues in the department, I translate various texts from all FIFA departments into my mother tongue (French). On any given day, we translate magazine texts, media releases, competition regulations as well as financial and legal documents from and into English, German, Spanish and French. It’s a good way of finding out what FIFA is doing and plans to do in the future.

Which is your favourite football team of all time?

France’s team of ‘98 was amazing with Zidane, Deschamps, Barthez and Bernard Diomède. Same for Portugal in 2004 with Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pauleta, Rui Costa, Ricardo, Deco...

 What has been the highlight of your time at FIFA to date?

The FIFA Ballon d’Or 2015. It was the first time I could actually see and even talk to the most famous football players on the planet. An amazing experience.


FOF Marisa

Name: Marisa Maeder Karl

Job title: Internal Communications Manager

Age: 43

Nationality: Switzerland

Date joined FIFA: 2000

Why did you want to work for FIFA?

I had just finished my studies as a translator and was looking for a job in an international environment. When I turned up for the interview I didn’t know it was for FIFA; I only found out afterwards. What exactly do you do at FIFA? I work in the Internal Communications team within Corporate Communications. I look after the promotion of FIFA events internally and organise lunch workshops for departments and project teams to present their work.

What has been the highlight of your time at FIFA to date?

Clearly, the FIFA World Cup in Germany in 2006! The atmosphere in Berlin, the people and all the events around the World Cup were just overwhelming. It was so great to be part of the team there and to be able to work in such a fantastic environment!

Has your impression of FIFA changed since you joined?

FIFA as an organisation has definitely changed a lot over the years. It has become much more professional in many aspects but also more complex and therefore less personal. However, that’s what makes working here so fascinating – meeting new people of many different nationalities and backgrounds.


FIFA’s monthly magazine, FIFA 1904, provides insight into working at FIFA. Each edition includes FIFA team member profiles under the titles ‘Faces of FIFA’ (short interviews with three team members) and ‘A day in the life of’ (a more complete look into a day with a selected team member).

Check out the latest edition of FIFA 1904 to learn more about working at FIFA!

Give your career in sport a boost with the latest live vacancies at Federations & LOCs, or create an account today and stay up to date with all the latest industry knowledge, events and jobs in sport.

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