Ronaldinho stars as benefit match raises £5.5m for tsunami relief

A collection of soccer talent not seen in at least 30 years braved near freezing temperatures and a polar wind last night, displaying their skills for an all-star exhibition match in hopes of raising US$3 million for victims of December's South Asian tsunamis.

A collection of soccer talent not seen in at least 30 years braved near freezing temperatures and a polar wind last night, displaying their skills for an all-star exhibition match in hopes of raising US$3 million for victims of December's South Asian tsunamis.

Samuel Eto'o and Henry Camara scored twice each and Barcelona's own Ronaldinho also had a goal to lead his team of mostly non-European stars over Andriy Shevchenko's largely continental crew 6-3.

In a match dubbed "The Game of Hope," players like Eto'o and Deco dazzled a crowd of 35,000 at Camp Nou stadium and a television audience in 150 countries with heel flicks, dummy dribbles and goals.

"It's the first time in my 30 years with FIFA that there's been such an assembly of players of this stature," FIFA president Sepp Blatter said. "This is football, and it's football for the future."

FIFA hopes to raise about US$10 million for the victims of the Dec. 26 waves caused by an earthquake off the coast of Indonesia that killed at least 157,000. It hoped to raise one-third from Tuesday's match.

The proceeds were to go to the Tsunami Solidarity Fund set up by FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation.

"It's a joy to participate in this with so many great players and for such a great cause," Ronaldino said.

African player of the year for the second year running, Barcelona forward Eto'o put the non-Europeans ahead in the 13th minute with low shot from the edge of the area that sailed past Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

Ronaldinho doubled the lead five minutes later, finishing off a playful manoeuvre by Deco and Japan's Hidetoshi Nakata of Fioretina.

Zinedine Zidane lobbed a stunning pass to spring Italy's Alessandro del Piero, who blasted a shot past AC Milan's Brazilian goalkeeper Dida in the 26th minute to keep the Europeans close.

But Eto'o shined brightest, stealing the ball from Kakhaber Kaladze moments before halftime, dribbling round a diving Casillas and depositing it into a open net.

Gianfranco Zola and Honduras' David Suazo drew Shevchenko's team even by the 53rd minute, but Senegal's Henri Camara, of Southampton, scored twice in three minutes to restore the non-Europeans to the lead.

The African thundered in a shot the 60th minute, seconds before Ronaldinho left the game to wild applause, then scored again in the 63rd.

South Korea's Cha Doo-ri powered home a sixth in the 79th minute.

Once he'd stepped off the field Ronaldinho said to television viewers, "The result tonight is not important, it's the spectacle in aid of a very great cause."

The match was preceded a by a minute of silence for the tsunami victims with all the starting players holding hands in the center circle.

Brazilian national team coach Carlos Alberto Parreira and FC Barcelona's Frank Rijkaard coached Ronaldinho's team while Italian squad chief Marcello Lippi and Arsenal's Arsene Wenger directed Shevchenko's crew.

Italy's Pierluigi Collina refereed the match.

Ronaldinho XI

Dida (Brazil, AC Milan), Cafu (Brazil, AC Milan), Ivan Cordoba (Colombia, Inter Milan), Rafael Marquez Alvarez (Mexico, Barcelona), Lucas Radebe (South Africa, Leeds) Rigobert Song (Cameroon Galatasari) Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon, Barcelona), Kaka (Brazil, AC Milan), Deco (Portugal, Barcelona) Hidtoshi Nakata (Japan, ACF Fiorentina), Ronaldinho (Brazil, FC Barcelona)Idriss Kameni (Cameroon, Espanyol), Radhi Jaidi (Tunisia, Bolton), Samuel Kuffour (Ghana, Bayern Munich) DaMarcus Beasley (United States, PSV Eindhoven), Henry Camara (Senegal, Southampton), Cha Doo-ri (South Korea, Eintracht Frankfurt), Mehdi Mahdavikia (Iran, Hamburg), Obafemi Martins (Nigeria, Inter Milan), Park Ji-sung (South Korea, PSV Eindhoven).Coaches: Carlos Alberto Parreira (Brazilian national team), Frank Rijkaard (Barcelona).

Shevchenko XI

Iker Casillas (Spain, Real Madrid), Andriy Shevchenko (Ukraine, AC Milan), Kakhaber Kaladze (Georgia, AC Milan), Paolo Montero (Uruguay, Juventus) Liliam Thuram (France, Juventus), David Beckham (England, Real madird) Sebastian Deisler (Germany, Bayern Munich), Alessandro Del Piero (Italy, Juventus), Steven Gerrard (England, Liverpool), Raul Gonzalez (Spain, Real Madrid), Zinedine Zidane (France, Real Madrid).Francesc Toldo (Italy, Inter Milan), Vincent Kompany (Belgium, Anderlecht), Paolo Maldini (Italy, AC Milan), Giovanni van Bronchorst (Netherlands, FC Barcelona), Deco (Portugal, Barcelona), Ludovic Giuly (France, FC Barcelona) Thierry Henry (France, Arsenal), Jari Litmanen (Finland, Hans Rostock) Rui Costa (Portugal, AC Milan), Johann Vogel (Switzerland, PSV Eindhoven), Hakan Sukur (Turkey, Galatasaray), Gianfranco Zola (Italy, Cagliari FC), David Suazo (Honduras, Cagliari).Coaches: Marcello Lippi (Italian national team), Arsene Wenger (Arsenal).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz