Maradona leads current and former greats in match for peace
Rome, Oct 13 (IANS) Football legend Diego Maradona was joined by other retired stars such as Ronaldinho, Cafu and Juan Sebastian Veron in a charity match for peace promoted by Pope Francis.
The proceeds from Wednesday’s game at Rome’s Olympic Stadium will go to aid needy children in Argentina and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as victims of the earthquake that rocked central Italy in August, reports Efe.
Taking part in the contest alongside the former greats were active players that included Francesco Totti, Bojan Krkic, Diego Perotti and Nicolas Burdisso.
Totti paired with Maradona on the front line of the Blue Team, while Frederic Kanoute and Ronaldinho spearheaded the White Team attack.
Maradona, 55, played all 90 minutes, assisting on a goal by Totti and exchanging angry words with fellow Argentine Veron — playing for the White Team — as the squads left the field between halves.
The more than 20,000 fans cheered and serenaded the former Napoli superstar and Argentine international throughout the match.
The White Team prevailed 4-3 on goals by Kanoute, Krkic, Hernan Crespo and Fernando Cavenaghi. Burdisso and Antonio Di Natale scored the other goals for the Blue side.
“People had fun, we’re happy,” Maradona said after the final whistle.
“We will continue playing for peace in the world and for the children. Thank you, Italy,” he added.