Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane are inviting some of the world's top players to join them in an all-star lineup for the tenth UEFA-backed Match Against Poverty, which takes place on 19 December at the Grêmio Arena in Porto Alegre, Brazil (21.00 local time).
As goodwill ambassadors for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ronaldo and Zidane will each captain a team for this friendly match aimed at mobilising the public in the fight against poverty.
"The struggle against poverty is not a game," said Ronaldo, who launched the Match Against Poverty with 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 a decade of playing with Ronaldo, he is excited about facing him and his friends in 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.
This game follows nine successful editions of the fixture staged in Basle, Madrid, Dusseldorf, Marseille, Malaga, Fez, Lisbon, Athens and Hamburg. Each year, funds raised support specific projects in different countries dealing with 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," said Ronaldo.
Now UEFA's chief refereeing officer, Pierluigi Collina has refereed eight of the nine editions to date, and will again be in charge this year. "It is not easy to find a charity initiative that is able to reach its tenth anniversary," he said. "The Match Against Poverty has done, and this is really great. For me, it has been always a privilege to be invited to referee these matches, and to give my contribution to those who need help.
"As football is the world's most popular sport and poverty is a global challenge, the match is a wonderful instrument to mobilise people around the world to support all efforts to ensure that everyone, everywhere, can lead healthy, productive and rewarding lives."
Ronaldo and Zidane are part of an elite group of UNDP goodwill ambassadors, which also includes Didier Drogba, Iker Casillas and Marta.
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