Forward Thierry Henry has confirmed his participation in the Match against Poverty in Lisbon tonight, with proceeds from the UEFA-backed contest going towards helping the people of Haiti.
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France forward Thierry Henry has become the latest star player to confirm their participation in the Match against Poverty in Lisbon on Monday evening.
The FC Barcelona striker joins a host of big names in the annual United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) match at the Estádio da Luz (kick-off 19.45 local time, 20.45CET). The proceeds of the game, launched on the initiative of former France and Brazil maestros Zinédine Zidane and Ronaldo, will go towards helping the people of Haiti following the earthquake there on 12 January.
An impressive number of footballing talents have volunteered their services for the event, which has the backing of UEFA and FIFA. Louis van Gaal, coach at FC Bayern München, will take charge of a stellar squad put together by Zidane and Ronaldo as they take on an SL Benfica All-Star XI led by the Lisbon outfit's trainer Jorge Jesus in the Portuguese capital. Four current internationals – Barcelona's Daniel Alves and Rafael Márquez, and Bayern's Ivica Olić and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk – joined Van Gaal on Friday as new signings for the match.
Stars taking part
Other players taking part are Akwá (Angola); Kaká, Marcelo and Luciano da Silva (Brazil); Pavel Nedvěd (Czech Republic); Michael Laudrup (Denmark); Alfredo Esteves (East Timor); Graeme Le Saux (England); Zidane, Fabien Barthez and Christophe Dugarry (France); Jean Sony and Joseph Peterson (Haiti); Baichung Bhutia (India); Edgar Davids and Phillip Cocu (Netherlands); Luís Figo, Fernando Couto and Pauleta (Portugal); Gheorghe Hagi and Gheorghe Popescu (Romania); Lucas Radebe (South Africa) and Fernando Hierro (Spain).
Solidarity in action
The Match Against Poverty is staged to raise awareness of development goals and to raise funds. The UEFA president, Michel Platini, emphasised UEFA's support for the initiative, saying: "One of UEFA's key aims is to channel the immense popularity of the game into positive social forces. This match is a concrete example of solidarity in action. I am proud to lend my full support and UEFA's name to the seventh edition of the Match Against Poverty. This event demonstrates how football can be used in the fight against social ills such as poverty, exclusion and illiteracy."
The UNDP is the United Nations' global network to help people meet their development needs and build a better life, and the Match Against Poverty provides an ideal platform to highlight the challenge of addressing global poverty. "I am sure all those attending the Lisbon match will have a most enjoyable and rewarding evening, knowing their presence will contribute to solutions that can make a real difference in peoples' lives," said Michel Platini.
Tickets for the Match Against Poverty are available through the SL Benfica website. Click here to visit slbenfica.pt.
Click here for further information on the UNDP.