Football greats to play for Yolanda survivors in Bern


Posted at Mar 03 2014 04:13 PM | Updated as of Mar 04 2014 12:13 AM

A star-studded line-up of football greats is confirmed for Tuesday’s Match Against Poverty in Bern, Switzerland, the proceeds of which will help support the recovery efforts for the millions still rebuilding in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).

Among those set to take to the field is 2000 Ballon D’Or and 2001 FIFA World Player winner Luis Figo.

“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,” Figo said in a statement.

For the 11th year in a row, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) goodwill ambassadors and football legends Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo will lead their team of internationally renowned football players for a friendly match against the Bern professional football club BSC Young Boys and Friends.

At half time, a short version of a new film, which shares the stories of young footballers from Tacloban by renowned Swiss filmmaker Michael Steiner will be showcased. The full film will be launched in Manila on Thursday.

“People here are determined to fight their way back after this disaster,” said UNDP country director Maurice Dewulf. “But they can’t do it alone.”

“Through the film, we want to shine a spotlight on the urgent need for recovery support,” Dewulf added.

This year, two-thirds of the funds raised from ticket sales and television rights from the Match Against Poverty will help communities affected by Yolanda to restore their livelihoods and promote development.

The list of players confirmed up to now in the Ronaldo, Zidane and 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 Nedv?d (Czech Republic), Gianluca Zambrotta, Gennaro Gattuso, Christian Vieri and Fabio Cannavaro (Italy), Hakan Sukur (Turkey) Hidetoshi Nakata (Japan) and Freddie Ljungberg (Sweden).

The annual Match Against Poverty is supported by FIFA and UEFA.