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Soccer stars unite against poverty

Last update - Saturday, February 1, 2014, 02:27 By Metro Éireann

Superstars of the soccer world are among a growing list of players for the 11th annual Match Against Poverty.

Marta Vieira da Silva, Phillip Cocu, Genaro Gattuso and Christian Vieri top the list of players who will join legends Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane in Bern on 4 March.
And soccer’s world governing body Fifa said proceeds from the charity clash would support recovery efforts in the Philippines in the wake of the destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan.
Brazil’s Marta Vieira da Silva of Brazil – popularly known as Marta ¬– is a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador and will participate for the second time in the fundraising match since 2007, when Ronaldo and Zidane invited her to play in Fez, Morocco.
At that event, Marta became the first woman in the history of soccer to play in an internationally sanctioned men’s match.
“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,” she said.
The five-time Fifa Women’s World Player of the Year was also one of three finalists of the Ballon d’Or in 2013, and recently launched a video appeal to assist the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
Meanwhile, at press time Fifa has listed the following confirmed players for the ‘Ronaldo, Zidane & Friends’ team: Ronald de Boer and Phillip Cocu (Netherlands), Steve McManaman (England), Robert Pires, Claude Makélélé and Youri Djorkaeff (France), Jens Lehmann (Germany), Gaizka Mendieta, Fernando Hierro and Michel Salgado (Spain), Paulo Sousa and Deco (Portugal), Marta, Giovane Elber, Juliano Belletti, Roberto Carlos (Brazil), Pavel NedvÄ›d (Czech Republic), Gianluca Zambrotta, Gennaro Gattuso, ChristianVieri (Italy), Hakan Sukur (Turkey) and Freddie Ljungberg (Sweden).
They will play the ‘Young Boys & Friends’ team comprising former and current players with Swiss club BSC Young Boys and led by former Swiss internationals Stéphane Chapuisat and Hakan Yakin.
More top international names are expected to confirm in the coming days for the match that will be refereed by Italian legend Pierluigi ‘Kojack’ Collina.

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