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Discussion Starter #1
No, this is not a game against Sporting. Full story below :D


An international roster of football stars are scheduled to meet SL Benfica of Portugal in Lisbon next month in a United Nations "Match Against Poverty," with soccer greats Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima of Brazil and Zinedine Zidane of France playing on the same side for the first time in a symbolic demonstration of the urgency of working together to fight the global scourge.

The shots that the two stars, both UN Development Program (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassadors, take this time aim not so much at landing the ball in the net as on scoring a different kind of goal, the eight UN Millennium Goals (MDGs) that seek to slash a host of social ills, ranging from extreme poverty and hunger to maternal and infant mortality to lack of access to education and health care, all by 2015.

"No one is a spectator in the struggle to end poverty," Ronaldo, who now plays for Corinthians in Brazil, said of the Jan. 25 match, the 7th in an annual series, half the proceeds of which will benefit UNDP anti-poverty programs. "It is only through working together, on the same team, that we will achieve the Millennium Development Goals."

Zidane, who retired from active football in 2006 but continues to play in the annual Match Against Poverty, echoed Ronaldo, saying, "We must score the eight goals through commitment, willpower and teamwork."

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said this year's match takes on special importance as it comes five years before the MDG deadline. "The MDGs are enormously important targets, the achievement of which would mean a huge improvement to peoples' lives," she said.

"Achieving them will require strong partnerships, enough dedicated resources, unwavering political leadership, and a long-term strategy to ensure that how we develop and grow is sustainable in every sense," she said.

The SL Benfica chairman expressed his club's pleasure at being associated with UNDP. "Football is a great way to get people together for a good cause," he said.

The other half the proceeds will go to the SL Benfica Foundation, targeted at social development projects in Portuguese-speaking African countries.

Proceeds from the previous six matches have benefited anti-poverty initiatives ranging from support to female entrepreneurs to the construction of sports centers for street children and the disadvantaged throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The game is the latest in a long list of cooperation between the UN and international sports that has seen the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) team up with the European Swimming League in "a race against time" to prevent deaths from unclean water; the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) partner the WTA Tour of women's tennis to promote gender equality; and the UN World Food Program (WFP) launch "Cricket Against Hunger" with England and Wales to draw attention to the plight of 400 million chronically hungry children around the world.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ronaldo confirms his absence on the 25th due to playing on the 24th and 27th in Brazil. Kaká will be his replacement ;)

On the other hand, the following stars have confirmed their presence:

Zidane & Ronaldo friends: Zidane, Hagi, Nedved, Davids, Hierro, Barthez

Benfica All Stars: Rui Costa, Nuno Gomes, Miccoli, Valdo, Schwarz, Chalana, Mozer, Shéu, Pietra, e Vítor Paneira.
 

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Fantastic feat of goodwill and philonthropy by the club and players alike.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Looks like my dream came true, Poborsky is back. I feel like a little boy getting his long awaited christmas present. :proud:

 

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Excellent to see this happen, hopefully there will be a stream available. But I have to say to the highlighted part...uh, what? :D

An international roster of football stars are scheduled to meet SL Benfica of Portugal in Lisbon next month in a United Nations "Match Against Poverty," with soccer greats Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima of Brazil and Zinedine Zidane of France playing on the same side for the first time in a symbolic demonstration of the urgency of working together to fight the global scourge.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Immensely proud of supporting this club. It was truly an amazing night at the Estádio da Luz.

I'll post some pictures later on.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yes, I am, but I didn't go to the game, unfortunately. I was referring to media pictures since I know many of you didn't have a broadcast over there.











And... :D

 

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Obviously, an immense cause to bring so many greats back. The stories of loss over the past week have been overwhelming.

The only thing keeping it from being a perfect night is Eusebio being unable to put on the botas.
 
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