A glittering list of players – including Brazil's women's star Marta – is being assembled for the UEFA-backed 11th Match Against Poverty at the Stade de Suisse in Berne on 4 March.
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More stellar names have confirmed their participation in the 11th UEFA-backed Match Against Poverty at the Stade de Suisse in Berne, Switzerland on 4 March.
Brazilian women's football star Marta, Genaro Gattuso, Christian Vieri, and Phillip Cocu are among the glittering list of players who will join United Nations Development Project (UNDP) ambassadors Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane at the match, which will pit Ronaldo, Zidane & Friends against Young Boys & Friends, a mix of current and former players from BSC Young Boys, who are based at the Stade de Suisse.
Two-thirds of the funds raised will go to helping the millions of people displaced or otherwise affected by the devastating Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines on 8 November last year. The remainder of the proceeds will be donated by Young Boys' to Laureus Foundation Switzerland – part of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, a charity that gives practical and financial assistance to almost 150 national-level sport-based projects in 34 countries worldwide.
Tyresö FF striker Marta, a UNDP goodwill ambassador herself, and five-times FIFA World Player of the Year, will participate for the second time in the match, after first appearing in 2007. "I am honoured to participate again in this important match and to have the opportunity to join the players, the coaches, the referee, the technical teams and the public to mobilise for the Philippines," said Marta, who recently launched a video appeal to assist the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
The list of players confirmed up to now in the Ronaldo, Zidane & Friends team is: Ronald de Boer and Phillip Cocu (Netherlands), Steve McManaman (England), Robert Pirès, Claude Makelele and Youri Djorkaeff (France), Jens Lehmann (Germany), Gaizka Mendieta , Fernando Hierro and Míchel Salgado (Spain), Paulo Sousa and Deco (Portugal), Marta, Giovane Elber, Juliano Belletti, Roberto Carlos (Brazil), Pavel Nedvěd (Czech Republic), Gianluca Zambrotta, Gennaro Gattuso, Christian Vieri (Italy), Hakan Şükür (Turkey) and Freddie Ljungberg (Sweden).
The Young Boys & Friends team will be led by former Swiss international players Stéphane Chapuisat and Hakan Yakin. More top international names are expected to confirm their participation in the run-up to the match. Pierluigi Collina – now UEFA's chief refereeing officer – will take charge of the game.
Ronaldo, Zidane and the UNDP have been the key figures behind the Match Against Poverty since the opening game in 2003. Ten successful editions of the fixture have been staged in Basel, Madrid, Dusseldorf, Marseille, Malaga, Fez, Lisbon, Athens, Hamburg and Porto Alegre. Each year, the funds raised support specific projects in different countries dealing with difficult challenges.
The match at the Stade de Suisse, which will be televised to a global audience, will kick off at 20.00CET. Tickets, priced from CHF20 to CHF60, are available at www.stadedesuisse.ch/tickets or http://www.ticketcorner.ch/. More details can also be found at undp.org/povertymatch | @undp | #PovertyMatch