- Ronaldinho says: “I wish I could have played with the Pelé and the Maradona in real life!”
- The Soccer Aid and Soccer Aid World XI FC brands will be used in-game in the EA SPORTS FIFA™ game series
- For the first time ever, Pelé, Maradona and Ronaldinho are playable in the same team from the start and in official PUMA Soccer Aid World XI FC kit
- They join a star-studded squad including: Shearer, Zidane, Cannavaro and Schmeichel alongside more legendary names
- Soccer Aid for Unicef is the original charity-celebrity football match and has raised £38m for children around the world since 2006
- On Saturday 27th June, stars including Robbie Williams will take part in eSoccer Aid – an online EA SPORTS FIFA™ tournament
- eSoccer Aid is raising money to help stop the spread of coronavirus and limit the impact on children’s lives
EA SPORTS FIFA™ players now have access to one of the most lethal strike-forces in football history, with the news that Diego Maradona, Pelé and Ronaldinho are teaming-up in a Soccer Aid World XI FC team. This is the first time ever that Maradona, Pelé and Ronaldinho will be playable from the start, in the same side, without the need for transfers.
Robbie Williams is set to play with the Soccer Aid World XI FC in eSoccer Aid – an online competition on Saturday 27th June raising money to help stop the spread of coronavirus and limit the impact on children’s lives.
Unicef UK Ambassador and Soccer Aid for Unicef Co-Founder, Robbie Williams, said: “This is a unique and wonderful initiative to be part of because the Soccer Aid World XI FC is needed more than ever before. We have been able to bring together some of the best players ever to have played the game – and many of whom have played in Soccer Aid for Unicef previously – to create an in-game side that EA SPORTS FIFAplayers can enjoy.
“On Saturday 27th June I’ll be doing exactly the same when I take part in eSoccer Aid, which everyone will be able to watch and hopefully donate to – because all proceeds go towards helping stop the spread of coronavirus and limiting the impact on children’s lives”.
Maradona said: “It is a very proud moment for me to be included in this very unique team. The Soccer Aid World XI FC team is special not only because of the very many talented players that are part of it but because it is part of something much bigger and much more important at the moment.
“The money raised will help to stop coronavirus spreading and also lessen the impact that it has on the lives of children. Seeing the names in this team brought back many memories for me because in 2006 I played in Soccer Aid for Unicef at Old Trafford. This is a great cause and I hope everyone enjoys playing with this team”.
Ronaldinho said: “This is a team of superstars and it is a privilege to be part of this. I like that there are more attacking players than defenders in the team – attackers win games of football and even the defenders know that! I wish I could have played with the Pelé and the Maradona in real life!
“There are so many legendary players involved, I like to imagine what the training sessions would have been like if this team had been together in reality! I think there would have been lots of skills on show, like the double nutmeg I did when I played for the Soccer Aid World XI FC back in 2016 – sorry England! Soccer Aid for Unicef is a wonderful thing and I would urge everyone to download this team. eSoccer Aid, which takes place on Saturday 27th June, is going to raise money that will help to stop coronavirus spreading, as well as reducing the impact it has on the lives of children”.
The following players will make up the Soccer Aid World XI FC team: Goalkeepers: Peter Schmeichel, Edwin van der Sar and Jens Lehmann. Defenders: Marcel Desailly, Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini, Sol Campbell, Roberto Carlos and Fabio Cannavaro. Midfielders: Ruud Gullit, Luís Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ryan Giggs, Clarence Seedorf, Roy Keane, Robert Pirès, Juan Sebastián Veron, Lothar Matthäus, Claude Makélélé and Michael Essien. Forwards: Gianfranco Zola, Diego Maradona, Alan Shearer, Ian Rush, Henrik Larsson, Kenny Dalglish, John Barnes, Hernán Crespo, Alessandro Del Piero, Andriy Shevchenko, Ronaldinho, Michael Owen, Patrick Kluivert and Pelé.
Ian Rush – who was announced in August 2019 as a FIFA Ultimate Team ICON for the first time ahead of the release of FIFA 20 – said: “I have loved being involved in Soccer Aid for Unicef. It’s an amazing event every year, which raises a huge amount of money for a very important cause, so it’s great that EA SPORTS is including Soccer Aid in FIFA 20. I am a FUT ICON for the first time this year so I’m excited to be pulling on my virtual shirt for the Soccer Aid World XI FC and getting involved again. Our team will be tough to beat!”
The Soccer Aid World XI FC team is playable in the Kick-Off mode within FIFA 20 and features some of the biggest names who have taken part in the original celebrity-charity football match. Fans can finally play with ICONs in different modes within game. The Soccer Aid World XI FC is available in-game on EA SPORTS FIFA 20 on PC, PlayStation and Xbox One.
Nick Wlodyka, GM of EA SPORTS FIFA, said: “As we continue to bring the world together through play, partnering with Soccer Aid for Unicef will help to further support the work towards COVID-19 relief efforts. This partnership also adds a new way to play with some of the most iconic footballers in EA SPORTS FIFA 20, helping to not only raise awareness for a very important cause, but also giving fans more ways to experience our game”.
Shane Horgan, Director of Strategic Development, Soccer Aid Productions, said: “The popularity of EA Sports’ FIFA is unrivalled. When you combine this with the excitement people have for Soccer Aid for Unicef, we have something special that both our fans are going to really enjoy. The agreement between Soccer Aid for Unicef and EA Sports is a truly innovative one. Both sides have been working closely to build on the 2019 partnership and we are all very excited to see our team in the game for all to play”.
Kenneth Shepherd, Executive Director, Soccer Aid Productions, said: “On behalf of the team at Soccer Aid, I would like to thank Robbie as well as all the icons and celebrities who have been involved since our first event in 2006, raising £38 million so far. Without their support we would never have got to produce such an exciting joint venture as this with EA Sports and Unicef. Diversifying the Soccer Aid and Soccer Aid World Xl FC brands into the gaming world can only make Soccer Aid for Unicef grow further to benefit children around the world, via Unicef’s fantastic projects”.
Since 2006, Soccer Aid for Unicef, which is broadcast on ITV, has raised over £38m to help give children all over the world a childhood full of play. Soccer Aid for Unicef 2019, which raised a record breaking £7.9m, took place at Stamford Bridge with England narrowly missing out to the Soccer Aid World XI FC on penalties.
The 2020 match was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday 6 June, at Manchester United’s Old Trafford, but was postponed in light of the currentcoronavirus situation. However, Soccer Aid remains committed to holding an event later this year.
For more information, please contact:
Unicef UK Media Team, 0207 375 6030, email@example.com
Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children. As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK.
For more information please visit unicef.org.uk