Match Against Poverty
On 19 March 2007, the world witnessed the fourth match against poverty in Marseille, France in which the teams of two All-Star captains and UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane faced each other in a friendly match organised by UNDP in order to raise money and awareness about poverty and to strengthen UN’s Millennium Development Goals.
New Horizons - In the match that took place in Stade Vélodrome and refereed by Italian Pierluigi Collina for the 4th consecutive time, Zidane’s team beat Ronaldo’s team 6-2. The successful goals for Zidane’s team were recorded by Ronny (KK), Sichi, Portillo (2), Al Jaber and French comedian of Moroccan origin Jamel Debbouze. Scorers for Ronaldo’s team were Gerald and Sonny Anderson though there were many other names from the international arena as well such as Julio Baptista from Arsenal, Ricardo Silva from Boavista, Rivaldo from Olympiakos, Robinho from Real Madrid, Hakan Şükür from Galatasaray, Turkey and even the seven times Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher who was listed in Ronaldo’s team.
As before, all proceeds from ticket sales will go to projects selected by UNDP in Asia, Africa and Latin America to build health centres and schools. In previous years, Haiti, Congo, Sri Lanka, Comoros, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Namibia, Colombia, Brazil, Bhutan, Cuba and Vietnam were the countries that had benefited from the proceeds of the “matches against poverty”.
Regarding the match Ronaldo stated that it was really encouraging to see such a response from the public and that he wanted to continue to help raise awareness and overcome poverty. Similarly Zinedine Zidane who played international football for the first time after the 2006 World Cup stated that although he had retired from professional football, he is determined to continue playing for such a good cause. UN Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator of UNDP Ad Melkert said “Through the ‘Match Against Poverty’ millions of fans witness their heroes in soccer become heroes in the fight against extreme poverty. This message is so important because only in partnership with governments, the private sector, civil society and individuals like Ronaldo, Zidane and Drogba will we be able to truly overcome poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals.”