Contrary to the image in the country, Răzvan Burleanu has a good position in European and world football, at the executive level. The President of the FRF is a member of the FIFA Council and attends the meetings of the UEFA Executive Committee without the right to vote.
Răzvan Burleanu, seen by the Spaniards as likely to become UEFA president. Sportpictures photo
Burleanu, head of Romanian football since March 2014, is nominated by the important Spanish daily AS among the most important candidates to replace Aleksander Ceferin, along with three former legendary footballers: Luis Figo, Predrag Mijatovic and Zvonimir Boban.
Spanish daily AS presented a list of four potential presidents of the body in Nyon. Here are the characterizations of each, made by Iberian journalists, according to gsp.ro:
1. Luis Figo. The 51-year-old Portuguese also ran for FIFA presidency in 2015. He wanted to unseat the “dictator” Sepp Blatter, but eventually withdrew from the race. “He has solid contacts and has always been with Ceferin since the Slovenian took over,” notes AS.
Two supporters and two opponents of Ceferin
2. Predrag Mijatovic. The 55-year-old Montenegrin, who was at Real between 1996 and 1999, was also sporting director at the Madrid club in the 2000s. “Advisor to Ceferin, he has strong ties with UEFA, influential in the president's decision-making. They are both from the Balkans”.
3. Zvonimir Boban. The 55-year-old Croatian, a decade-long player at Milan, has held important positions at both FIFA and UEFA. FIFA Deputy Secretary-General (2016-2019) and UEFA Technical Director from April 2021 until January 2024, when he resigned. “His resignation before the congress can be understood in two ways: he rushed and missed a unique chance, or he forced Ceferin to quit, his protest having the desired effect.” write AS.
Burleanu says he is not interested in the job
4. Răzvan Burleanu. “At 39 years old, the Romanian has a good reputation at UEFA, being one of those who fought Ceferin the most in the case of the controversial amendment, although he supported it in the end. Due to his age and projection, he is a potential candidate.”
Alexander Ceferin, Slovenian lawyer and UEFA president: Photo EPA EFE
The Romanian has so far denied twice that he would like to face Ceferin, the last time, two weeks ago: “I made it clear that I have no plans to run for UEFA presidency”. But the FRF president's announcements were made before the Slovenian announced his resignation as head of the European forum.
Ceferin is no longer a candidate
Aleksander Ceferin, UEFA president since September 2016, shocked the football world with his decision to leave Nyon in 2027. “I made this decision six months ago not to continue, to stop running. The reason is that after a while every organization needs fresh blood, but mostly because I've been away from my family for seven years.” said Ceferin at the press conference that followed the UEFA congress in Paris.
“I deliberately didn't want to reveal my thoughts until now, because I wanted to see the real face of some people and I saw it“, added Ceferin, whose decisions have recently been challenged by some UEFA officials, including the Englishman David Gill and Răzvan Burleanu. AS writes that the Slovenian lawyer could still be bluffing: “Some still don't believe that Aleksander Ceferin will quit. Many things can change in three years.”