Brazil to host the 10th edition of the Match Against Poverty, featuring Ronaldo, Zidane and other football stars

Oct 1, 2012

UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane (Photo: Witters)

Annual Match to take place in Porto Alegre on 19 December 2012  

Geneva/New York/Brasilia — Football legends and UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane are inviting some of the world’s top players to join them in an all-star line-up for the 10th “Match Against Poverty,” to take place on 19 December 2012 at the Gremio Arena in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

As Goodwill Ambassadors for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ronaldo and Zidane will each captain a team for this friendly match aimed at mobilizing the public in the fight against poverty. 

“The struggle against poverty is not a game,” said Ronaldo, who launched the Match Against Poverty with Zinedine Zidane and UNDP ten years ago. “But we use this Match to raise both funds and awareness that the solution is in everyone’s hands. Working together we will all be winners in the Match Against Poverty.”

Zidane, who will play in Brazil for the first time, said that after ten years of playing with Ronaldo he is excited to play against him and his friends at the Match Against Poverty. “Although it will be a friendly match, I very much look forward to playing against my old friend in Porto Alegre,” he said.

The Match in Porto Alegre follows nine successful editions that took place in Basel, Madrid, Dusseldorf, Marseille, Málaga, Fez, Lisboa, Athens and Hamburg. Each year funds raised support specific projects in different countries facing difficult challenges.  “At the tenth match we will use the proceeds to support solutions in my own country, as well as another programme in Africa in which Brazil is actively engaged in” said Ronaldo. 

Italian legend Pierluigi Collina, who refereed eight out of the nine editions to date, will be the referee of the Match this year again: “It is not easy to find a charity initiative that is able to reach its 10th anniversary. The Match against Poverty did it and this is really great! “For me it has been always a privilege to be invited as the referee of these matches and to give my contribution to those who need help” he said.

UNDP Associate Administrator Rebeca Grynspan said the match is one of the highest profile and far-reaching events for UNDP and its partners. “As football is the world’s most popular sport and poverty is a global challenge, the match is a wonderful instrument to mobilize people around the world to support all efforts to ensure that everyone, everywhere, can lead healthy, productive and rewarding lives.”

This year’s Match, which will take place at the Gremio Arena at 21:00 local time, is being organized with 9INE Sports & Entertainment of Brazil.  The annual event, which is televised globally, is supported by both football’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

Ronaldo and Zidane are part of an elite group of UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors, which includes other football stars Didier Drogba, Iker Casillas and Marta Vieira de Silva, Crown Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway, Japanese actress Misako Konno,  Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova and Spanish actor Antonio Banderas.

Contact information

Aziyadé Poltier-Mutal; Mobile: + 41 79 3491610  - Tel: + 41 22 917 83 68;

UNDP Around the world