Super League would have cost big clubs their popularity: Aleksander Ceferin

English FA chairman Greg Clarke

The 51-year-old Slovenian president of the European governing football body was a sole candidate running in the election, which was held during the 43rd Ordinary UEFA Congress in Italy's Rome.

"I stood. I was underestimated and when (opponents) realised the situation, it was too late".

Since then, Ceferin - recently ranked just behind Melania Trump among the most influential Slovenian citizens in the world by Slovenian magazine Reporter - has imposed his own, more understated, style.

While long-standing UEFA-FIFA tensions have continued with these leaders, both first elected in 2016, Ceferin spoke warmly of another ally.

Having previously been largely charged with putting in place measures voted for under the previous regime of Platini and current Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino, Ceferin can now hope to really make his mark and implement his own changes.

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Other key Ceferin targets through 2023 are a European bidder winning the 2030 World Cup hosting rights and updating the financial fair play rules which monitor club finances.

Breakaway threats by elite clubs have often arisen ahead of periodic talks to change the Champions League's entry list, format and prize money distribution. Ceferin is opposed to the projects.

Speaking after UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin aimed strong words at him, Infantino said "it's not always easy" for him to work so that "the rest of the world can catch up a little bit" to European soccer.

Back in November, German outlet Der Spiegel published a series of damning exposés in which City were accused of, among other things, manipulating sponsors' contracts in order to circumvent Uefa's Financial Fair Play regulations.

"For me it's not only a lack of respect for (UEFA's head of refereeing) Roberto Rosetti and his team but the influence of managers is huge and if they complain about referees they should at least come see what the experts say about VAR", he said. "That is the question many people were asking when I was elected two and a half years ago", said Ceferin.

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