As a cohort of 31 students study the world-renowned FIFA Master course at DMU, we speak to some of the people who are planning to make a big impact in the world of sport.
Today it is former Chelsea FC employee Eduardo Tavares.
As Chelsea top scorer Tammy Abraham continues to bang in the goals, one person studying at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is feeling more pride than most.
Eduardo Tavares started the prestigious FIFA Master degree in the Management, Law and Humanities of Sport at DMU last month, alongside 30 others from around the world, as he chases his ambition to use football as a tool to change society.
But up until this summer, Eduardo was working at Chelsea FC as a loan player liaison manager.
He was part of a team of eight in the loan department, which included ex-players such as Paulo Ferreira, Tore Andre Flo and Carlo Cudicini.
The team was dedicated to looking after all of Chelsea’s players who had been sent to play for other clubs in highly competitive leagues, such as the Championship, Premier League and European leagues, to prepare them for a return to west London and first team glory.
Abraham was out on loan at Aston Villa last season and Eduardo was on hand to keep the connection with Chelsea strong, by paying him visits, watching his games and writing reports on his development.
Since returning to Chelsea, Abraham has been a sensation, scoring nine goals which puts him level with Manchester City legend Sergio Aguero in the Premier League’s leading goal scorers table, one behind Leicester’s Jamie Vardy.
Tammy playing in the Champions League earlier this season
Eduardo, who is half Portuguese and half German, said: “Having worked with Tammy for three years and seeing him develop throughout this time it is such a great feeling seeing him doing so well.
“I am proud and honoured to see him succeed and I hope this is just the beginning for him.”
The start of the 2019/20 season has been a good one for loan players at Chelsea due to the club being banned from operating in the transfer market until the start of the 2020 season. The ban was enforced by UEFA due to transfer irregularities, ironically involving dealings with international youth players at other clubs.
Eduardo said: “This year has been a very good year for young loan players because of the transfer ban.
“Chelsea cannot just go out and buy a £50 million player to strengthen a position, so they need to call up their young players from the academy.
“As well as Tammy, there has been Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori too. While I was working there you could see these players wanted to be a part of Chelsea. You could really sense that when you went to visit them. They were working hard. They knew they were being watched and wanted to perform well.
“It is possible some loan players might think they can relax because they are at a different club but our players did not do that. They integrated well and worked hard.
Be inspired. Come to the next DMU Open Day
How Sanaa has rewritten the rulebook for football refs
FIFA Master student reveals 'my crazy two months with Usain Bolt'
“We have a lot of loan players with quality. You need a bit of luck and you need to grab an opportunity. It could be a new coach wanting to give you a run out, it could be there is not a player available in your position or it could be a transfer ban, or a combination of all three.
“But when you have the chance, you need to take it.”
Eduardo started at Chelsea three years ago as an intern within the loans department but then moved on to the Operations Team. This team was responsible for the organisation of the first team, from booking hotels and travel to match day protocol.
He said: “Our goal was to ensure the players and the coaches thought only about football. We concentrated on everything else.
“It was an incredibly stressful job. You simply cannot make a mistake because, if you do, it affects the whole team and can affect their mental preparation for a game. You do not want management and first team players waiting for a bus to turn up because your timing was slightly out.
“We had to triple check everything.”
It was a tough decision to leave Chelsea behind and go back to studying.
Eduardo, 25, said: “I did a lot of thinking before joining.
“I have known about the FIFA Master for a long time and the reputation it has globally. I know how difficult it is to get on the course.
“I have developed a lot of practical experience but you can always learn more. I have a lot of personal goals and ambitions. I want to be involved with football and see it become a tool to improve society and help people.
“That is the biggest impact that football and sport can have so, in that context, I felt the FIFA Master would be the right step to take to continue my career, get out of my comfort zone and take risks.”
Posted on Tuesday 5th November 2019