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Celebrity charity football match raises €3.5 million for flood victims

A charity match bringing together global football celebrities in Ljubljana on 15 September raised over €3.5 million for the victims of the devastating August floods in Slovenia.

Over EUR 3.5 million was raised for flood victims during a charity football game featuring a number of legendary names at the sold-out Ljubljana Stožice stadium on 15 September. The football fund-raiser was organised by Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) upon the initiative of its president Aleksander Čeferin, a Slovenian, after UEFA donated EUR 300,000 just days after the floods hit.

  • Aleksander Čeferin speaks at the stadium. Srečko iŠestan is standing next to him

    Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA president. Photo: Damjan Žibert/POP TV

"I would like to thank all those who have helped, all who bought a ticker, all who donated, and above all our friends on the pitch," Aleksander Čeferin said before the match.

Some 16,000 spectators enjoyed the spectacle live at the stadium, but it was also broadcast in more than 100 countries around the globe. During half time, the event was addressed by the legendary Brazilian player Ronaldo in a video message.

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The players entered the pitch in the company of children from the Mengeš kindergarten who had to be evacuated as the floods hit on 4 August. Moreover, some 1,600 members of the civil protection services, firefighters and soldiers were among the spectators.

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The blue team was headed by Matjaž Kek, the head coach of the Slovenian national team. It included Buffon, Paolo Maldini, Eric Abidal, Vedran Ćorluka, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Javier Zanetti, Davor Šuker, Zvonimir Boban, Clarence Seedorf, Miran Pavlin, Predrag Mijatović, Klose, Dimitar Berbatov, Boštjan Cesar, Levan Kobiašvili, Milivoje Novaković and Marcos Tavares.

  • Gianluigi Buffon waves. The audience in the background.

    Former football goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. Photo: Damjan Žibert/POP TV

The red team was headed by the legendary Italian coach Fabio Capello and it included David James, Dario Srna, Nemanja Vidić, Mikael Silvestre, Branko Ilić, Aljoša Asanović, Robert Pires, Luis Figo, Oliver Bierhoff, Andrej Ševčenko, Milenko Aćimović, Hamit Altintop, Mišo Brečko, Bojan Jokić, Robert Koren, Dejan Savičević, Mario Mandžukić, Giorgios Karagunis and Ivica Olić.

The match was won 5:4 in overtime by the blue team.

  • Zlatan Ibrahimović signing autographs.

    Zlatan Ibrahimović signed autographs to an enthusiastic audience. Photo: Damjan Žibert/POP TV

Matjaž Kek expressed gratitude after the game. "A big thank you to all; for the idea, to the organisers, the fantastic spectators, everybody, including the global football stars for making their mark and helping to raise much-needed funds."

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All funds raised at the charity, dubbed Football Stars for Flood Victims, will be donated to the foundation Preprosto Blizu (Simply Close).

Source: STA

Author: Danila Golob

Date: 19. September 2023

Time to read: 2 min