DUBAI: Last evening was about energy, emotion, and excitement as the World Cup stars took the field against Asian stars in a football friendly at the Zabeel Stadium, Al Wasl Club here.
The match, which was part of Asian Paralympic Committee-hosted Welfare Sports Festival for People of Determination, eventually ended in a draw 6-6 with stars like Brazilan football legend Romario mesmerising the roaring audience with a super hat-trick, while Saudi Arabia’s former star Nassir Alshamrani, awarded the Asian Footballer of the Year in 2014, impressed with a hat-trick.
The occasion was graced by His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, Dubai Sports Council secretary general Saeed Hareb besides several dignitaries even as thousands of fans flocked to the Zabeel Stadium to have a glimpse of the former stars.
“This has been an amazing moment for us to finally witness the World Cup and Asian stars play once again. Their contribution to support the People of Determination in Asia is priceless. We are also very thankful to all our sponsors for their continuous support throughout the journey. Thank you everyone for coming here and showing support to this unique initiative. We would like to carry this enthusiasm and momentum to many more events like this one and promote the Paralympic Movement across the world,” said Asian Paralympic Committee President Majid Rashed in his welcoming speech.
Among other scorers for World Cup stars were – Rivaldo and Paulo Andrioli, who scored the opening goal within a minute to the kick-off, only the Asian stars to catch up and they did it quite impressively coming back from 1-4 down to force a 6-6 draw.
For the Asian stars, the other scorers were Ahmed Kanoo and Fahad Khamis, the former Emirati player.
Among the star-studded line-up who took to the field were: former Brazilan World Cup stars Rivaldo, Carlos Dunga and Aldair among others, while the Asian stars line up included former Emirati star Nasser Khamis, former Indian football caption M. Vijayan to name a few.
The proceeds of the friendly will go to the benefits of the People of Determination in Asia. Al Habtoor Motors, Binghatti, Al Wasl Club and Dubai Sports TV were the sponsors for the event, which was hosted by APC in association with Dubai Club for People of Determination, Dubai Sports Council and Laval United FC.