Out of front-line soccer since ending a two-decade coaching career at Arsenal that many credit with revolutionizing English soccer, Arsène Wenger has agreed to join FIFA to spread his gospel to a wider audience.
Wenger, a 69-year-old Frenchman, has agreed to become FIFA’s technical head, though his official title with the organization has not been finalized. In the role, he will have a broad portfolio to suggest improvements to coaching standards across the world, while also providing advice on other areas that directly influence how the game is played. An official announcement of his hiring could be made in the next few days.
There has been much speculation about what Wenger — who left Arsenal in May 2018 after 22 seasons at the London club — would do next; he had suggested in interviews since his departure that he would be open to coaching again.
FIFA has been looking to add a recognized figure to its senior ranks since the departures of the two most high-profile former players recruited by its president, Gianni Infantino. Both of those ex-players — the former technical director Marco van Basten, who left last October, and Zvonimir Boban, who quit as FIFA’s deputy secretary general in June to take up a senior management position at A.C. Milan — returned to club soccer.
A FIFA spokesman declined to comment about Wenger.