The Quarterly Interview #27: Gustavo Oliveira Vieira

The Brazilian Gustavo Oliveira Vieira is a pioneer. He is one of the 20-plus young professionals who, in 2001, graduated from the first ever class of the International Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport, a.k.a. the FIFA Master. From then on, he built an impressive career in sports.

With a background in Business Administration, and specialisation in corporate finance and project management, before entering the sports market, Gustavo worked in a bank, in financial departments of some companies and as a business consultant. After the conclusion of the masters, he went to work at the Argentinean Football Association, in the international players’ transfer department.  Later he had a stint working in volleyball - first at the Brazilian Volleyball Federation, and then at the South American Volleyball Confederation, where he occupied the position of General Secretary.

In 2009 Gustavo was appointed the General Director of the Football Federation of the State of Espírito Santo, and in 2014, he was elected President of the federation. “For me it is an honour to be the President of my native state football federation. It is my biggest professional challenge so far.  Football is not just a sport for us in Brazil, it is part of our DNA and culture.  Football is our passion, and to manage passion is a difficult task. I am very pleased to have been re-elected by acclamation for another term of four years, from 2019 to 2023”, says Gustavo.

Here is more of the interview with Gustavo Oliveira Vieira:

 FMA Quarterly: What is the thing that you love about your job? And what is its biggest challenge?

Gustavo Vieira: Everything in football happens very fast. It is a very dynamic environment. The responsibility of being the president of a federation brings with it a high level of pressure. There is a lot at stake. Media makes great amount of daily content about it, therefore someone in a position like mine is always under public scrutiny, but I actually like that. The lack of routine and all the pressure that involves my work are the major factors that make me love what I do. My biggest challenge now is to make football in my state more attractive to investors and sponsors. This way, I intend to help improve the performance of our local teams in national competitions. 

FMAQ: What is your biggest professional achievement so far?
GV: The exponential increase of the federation's revenues in the last three years, the implementation of a governance and compliance programme, the acquisition of new sponsors and the deal with a new television and streaming rights partner. 

FMAQ: Do you still remember why you did the FIFA Master? Was it worthwhile for you?

GV: I wanted to work in the sports market but did not haveany know-how, academic or professional experience in the area. The FIFA Master provided me with the academic and technical knowledge I needed to enter the sports industry. 

FMAQ: Are you still in touch with classmates or other alumni? How important is that network for you? 

GV: Yes, for sure. For me the most important thing from the masters is the network you can build. I made real friends from my class (2001) and also many more who graduated after me and are part of our Brazilian alumni. I have professional contact with some of them, and the fact we had taken the same masters, greatly facilitates the relationship.   

FMAQ: What are your fondest memories of the FIFA Master?

GV: The wonderful time I spent with my classmates! I remember all of them with great affection. Last year, I came in London as the Chief of the delegation of the Brazilian National team, when we played two friendly matches. I made sure I went to visit the De Montfort University, in Leicester, and that was a very especial occasion for me. I spent time with the students and visited the city. It was a journey back in my memories.

FMAQ: Many candidates join the FIFA Master hoping to one day do what you do. Do you have any advice for the current students of the FIFA Master?

GV: Enjoy every second of it. Time flies and you will miss everything back. And more important, always keep in touch with your classmates. Technology helps a lot on that nowadays. 



Gustavo Oliveira Vieira, Brazilian

President at Football Federation of the State of Espírito Santo

43 years old, married to Priscila, father of Pedro, 5.

Favourite sport: Football, for sure

Favourite team: This is I can’t say, while I am running a football federation!

Favourite sport’s personality: Difficult question, there are so many. 

Favourite sport’s moment: Brazilian football team Olympic gold medal in 2016 - I was at the final match, at the Maracanã Stadium.