MANILA, Philippines – The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) “Match against Poverty,” which featured retired football stars Zinédine Zidane and Ronaldo, is a resounding success after 21,000 football fans watched the game live at the Stade de Suisse in Bern, Switzerland.
This year’s match, which was dedicated to the victims of typhoon Yolanda, saw Ronaldo and Zidane's team beating Berne Football Club Young Boys and Friends, 8-6.
“Although UNDP scored 8 and the Bern team Young Boys scored 6, it was really the Philippines that scored 14 because both sides were playing for them,” UNDP Partnerships Manager Aziyade Poltier said in a statement.
Both Zidane and Ronaldo are goodwill ambassadors of the UNDP. They were joined by Brazilian female football legend Marta Vieira da Silva, who also serves as a UNDP goodwill envoy.
Petra Lantz, director of the UNDP Offices in Geneva, thanked the players and also the football fans “for coming out to show their support for the Philippines.”
“This latest chapter of the Match against Poverty takes us back to Switzerland, where we started out 11 years ago,” said Zidane. "My good friend Ronaldo invited me to take part in this adventure to help tackle poverty and it has been an honor to join him year after year."
“I am very happy to be in a position to be able to contribute to the important cause championed by UNDP,” Ronaldo added during the pre-game press conference. “All three of us footballers up here on the podium grew up in poverty. If our lives and our game can contribute to its reduction then the beautiful game will truly be beautiful.”
Two thirds of the match proceeds will be used to speed up recovery efforts in the Philippines, where more than 5,000 people lost their lives to typhoon Yolanda.