Luís Figo, Fabio Cannavaro and Patrick Vieira to join 11th annual Match Against Poverty - Proceeds to support recovery efforts in the Philippines
Geneva - Switzerland, 18 February 2014 – Luís Figo, Fabio Cannavaro and Patrick Vieira are among the personalities that have confirmed they will join Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane at the 11th Annual Match Against Poverty that will take place on March 4 at the Stade de Suisse National Stadium in Bern, Switzerland.
Luís Figo, Fabio Cannavaro and Patrick Vieira have accepted Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane’s invitation and are committed to helping the Philippines. The 2000 Ballon D’or and 2001 FIFA World Player winner Luís Figo is very keen to support the cause. “I am making an appeal to the public coming to the Stade de Suisse. I would be delighted to see the stands full of people so we could celebrate soccer together in the fight against poverty. Let's help the Philippines," said the Portuguese football player. “I am very excited about this game. Football speaks a universal language and we need to take advantage of this to appeal for the reconstruction of the Philippines,” said Patrick Vieira the current Manchester City Elite Development Squad Head Coach who excelled by winning the 1998 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2000 alongside various titles in England and Italy over an illustrious career. “It is a great honor to play alongside these talented players who have had such successful careers,” said Fabio Cannavaro who considers the fight against poverty a priority. “Unfortunately, natural disasters affect us every year. The fight against poverty must be constant and I'm very happy if I can contribute to it through football.” The Italian shined in the victory of the 2006 FIFA World Cup being voted FIFA’s World Player of the Year and the winner of the Ballon D'or.
"To have celebrities like Ronaldo, Zidane and Marta lending their names as Goodwill Ambassadors to the work of UNDP means more to us than money could ever buy" UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said in a video message to support the Match Against Poverty. "Their reputations are so fantastic, their followings so great that for them to be talking about the work that we do to help devastated communities and people moving out from poverty is just so valuable” added Helen Clark.
The 11th annual Match Against Poverty is getting stronger support day by day. Between them, Ronaldo, Zinédine Zidane, Luís Figo, Pavel Nedvěd and Fabio Cannavaro have 6 Ballon D’or awards and 8 FIFA World Player of the Year titles. The Italian Pierluigi Collina will be the referee of the match. Proceeds from the Match will support recovery efforts in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record.
UNDP launched a photo contest yesterday, inviting the audience to submit photos that "Show some Love for the Philippines". The contest will be judged by Mashable and is already receiving submissions from all over the world. The winner will recieve a soccer jersey signed by the UNDP Goodwill ambassadors who will participate in the match.
The list of players confirmed up to now in the Ronaldo, Zidane, Friends team is: Ronald de Boer (Netherlands), Steve McManaman and Jamie Carragher (England), Robert Pires, Claude Makéléle, Christian Karembeu, Youri Djorkaeff and Patrick Vieira (France), Jens Lehmann (Germany), Gaizka Mendieta , Fernando Hierro and Michel Salgado (Spain), Paulo Ferreira, Fernando Couto, Luis Figo, Paulo Sousa and Deco (Portugal), Marta, Giovane Elber, Juliano Belletti and Roberto Carlos (Brasil), Pavel Nedvěd (Czech Republic), Gianluca Zambrotta, Gennaro Gattuso, Christian Vieri and Fabio Cannavaro (Italy), Hakan Sukur (Turkey) Hidetoshi Nakata (Japan) and Freddie Ljungberg (Sweden).
Former and present BSC Young Boys players will comprise the Young Boys & Friends team. The team will be led by former Swiss international players Stéphane Chapuisat and Hakan Yakin.
The annual match against poverty - which will be televised globally - is supported by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
The 11th Annual Match Against Poverty in Bern will start at 20:00 local time on 4 March 2014. Ticket prices range from CHF 20.00 up to CHF 60.00 and are available at www.stadedesuisse.ch/tickets or www.ticketcorner.ch.