The Match Against Poverty 2008, Fes, Morocco
Junhinho, Tymoschuck and Sun Jihai among 40 international players who will join UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors Ronaldo and Zidane for the sixth edition of the Match Against Poverty
A female football player will participate for the first time: Marta Vieira da Silva of Brazil is recognized as the best female football player in the world
Geneva/Rabat – 11 November 2008 – UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors Ronaldo and Zidane announced that at least 40 friends and colleagues will be joining them on the pitch for the Match Against Poverty at the Complexe Sportif de Fes, at 18:00 local time, on November 17 in Fes Morocco. Among those in the 40–player line–up are Junhinho Pernambucano (Olympique Lyon), Laurent and Kaboul (Portsmouth, English Cup champion), Makukula (Benfica Lisboa),Tymoschuck (St. Petersburg Zenit’s captain and captain of the Ukrainian national team), Valeron, Sergio and Mista (Deportivo La Coruna), Žigić, Ivan Helguera and Alexis (Valencia), Arango and Oscar Trejo (Mallorca,) Tchite and Luccin (Racing), Sami Al–Jaber (Al–Hilal), Fabio Celestini (Getage) Sun Jihai (Sheffield United), one of the best Chinese players and real icon in China and Moroccan football star Noureddine Naybet. More confirmations of top international names are expected shortly as national teams are still confirming the participation of their national players for the games of the week.
The Brazilian women’s football striker Marta, considered the best female football player in the world, has been invited by Ronaldo to participate. She plays as a midfielder for Sweden’s Umea IK, and was a member of the Brazilian National Team that won the silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics. She is the 2006 and 2007 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. In the 2007 Women’s World Cup, she won both the Golden Ball award as the best player and the Golden Boot award as the top scorer. Among the coaches of the Match against Poverty, Moroccan former national team coach Zaki Badou has confirmed his participation. More than 30 TV channels around the world are expected to broadcast the match live. As Goodwill Ambassadors for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ronaldo and Zidane will each captain an international team of world renowned footballers for this friendly game. The primary objective of the event is to mobilize the public in the fight against poverty and to promote the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which seek to halve world poverty by 2015. Between 2008 and 2015, the target date for accomplishing the MDGs, there will be eight games, each promoting one of the eight goals, and the proceeds from each game will go to projects which address the goal highlighted. In Fes, the theme will be centered on the first Goal: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. The funds will be allocated to UNDP anti poverty projects around the world, including a national project in Morocco.