After a seemingly never-ending nine-hour election, 45-year-old Gianni Infantino became FIFA's ninth president.
Infantino, who previously served as UEFA's general secretary, was one of the favorites heading into the election Friday, and won by a simple majority vote over Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al Khalifa in the second round. Many current and former players and executives, including U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, celebrated the result.
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No question that @ussoccer played a critical role in helping whip the votes between ballots. Switched to Infantino and brought friends.— Sam Borden (@SamBorden) February 26, 2016
Por um futebol mais organizado e moderno , parabéns @gianni_2016 você representa muito para o futebol mundial e agora de presidente da FIFA " For a better organized and modern football. Congratulations @Gianni_2016 ! You represent a lot for the world's soccer and now the president of FIFA.
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Many fans and analysts remained skeptical, however, as to whether Infantino could turn FIFA around.
Wish @Gianni_2016 all the best. He's got one hell of a job on his hands but seems a decent chap. Needs a sizeable new broom.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 26, 2016
Have this weird feeling that Gianni Infantino will pull off his mask to reveal Sepp Blatter.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 26, 2016
Sepp Blatter: "He [Gianni Infantino, new President] has all the qualities to continue my work."— Liam (@OffsideLiam) February 26, 2016
For the sake of football, I hope not.
Double-edged sword for Gianni Infantino. He has a decent support moving forward, but a hell of a lot of work to do.— James Tyler (@JamesTylerESPN) February 26, 2016
Infantino comes from a Swiss village called Brig. The next village along, Visp, is home to ... Sepp Blatter.— sportingintelligence (@sportingintel) February 26, 2016
Five months ago Infantino wasn't even in this race. Now he's about to become one of the best-paid men in world football.— sportingintelligence (@sportingintel) February 26, 2016
Those following along just for the jokes were devastated Tokyo Sexwale didn't prevail.