An excellent year of UEFA activity is drawing to a close with the profound sense that we have accomplished our duties and met the challenges that came our way. Thanks to everyone's efforts, the great European football family is looking to the future with serenity; the conflicts of the past have given way to calm dialogue and peaceful consensus.
The associations, clubs, leagues and players have learned to reconcile their points of view in the interests of all. Dialogue with supporters has entered a positive phase. We have also succeeded, in a difficult environment, in protecting football from the crisis afflicting the whole of Europe. UEFA EURO 2012, which was undermined for a long time by uncertainty and doubts, and the success of which was not a foregone conclusion, was a resounding triumph in the end, thanks to our commitment and perseverance.
The omens for the year ahead are therefore extremely good. We must continue to promote football for all, played by youngsters from all corners of society, having fun kicking a ball and forgetting the struggles of everyday life; a socially responsible football which transcends differences and divisions, and embraces the great diversity that enriches our world.
The last draw ceremony of 2012 has taken place, and as we prepare to join our loved ones for the festive season across Europe, we can all be very proud of the work that has been achieved and the path we have travelled together. As we all know, not everything is rosy on 'planet football', but I am convinced that, together, we will remain ready to confront the dangers which may threaten the most beautiful game in the world.
It only remains for me to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2013.
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