Dubai: Some of the biggest football stars of international football gathered in Dubai over the weekend for a friendly match that took place on the stands at Dubai Sports World, inside the air-conditioned halls of Dubai World Trade Center as part of the Dubai Fitness Challenge.
Players who took part in the competition are jointly organized by Dubai Sports Council and the Department of Tourism and Trade in Dubai. the Year Awards.
The star-studded series features Portuguese legend Luis Figo, the 2000 Ballon d’Or and World Player of the Year in 2001, considered one of the greatest the game has ever played; Carles Puyol, the former Spanish captain and winner of the 2010 World Cup and European Championships in 2008; and the Dutchman Clarence Seedorf, who is the only player to have won the Champions League with three different clubs – Ajax (1995), Real Madrid (1998) and AC Milan (2003 and 2007).
Dutch compatriot Patrick Kluivert from Seedorf, who holds the record for being the youngest player to score in the final of a major match on the European continent, also took part in the match. He was just 18 years, 10 months and 23 days old when he came off the bench to record Ajax’s 85th-minute winner against AC Milan in the 1995 Champions League final.
Frenchman Eric Abidal, winner of two Champions League titles alongside Barcelona, also took the field alongside former Spanish and Real Madrid star Michel Salgado; Italian goalkeeper Walter Zenga, Ghana’s Sulley Muntari and Frenchman Ibrahim Ba.
Mikael Silvestre, the former defender of France, Manchester United and Arsenal, was also present and cheered his former teammates and opponents from the sidelines because an injury prevented him from playing.
Saeed Hareb, general secretary and Nasser Aman Al Rahma, assistant general secretary of DSC, were with Omran Al Jasmi, manager of external relations at the council, at the match.
The stars thanked Dubai for the opportunity to get together and meet friends they had not met in a long time. The players who took part in the match all have a common love for Dubai and are residents or regular visitors here. A number of them own properties and plan to invest in Dubai’s growing sports sector.
Source: Gulf News