Wednesday 26 August 2020, 21:18

FIFA President welcomes legends to celebrate football

  • Former Swiss and Argentinian football stars played a pre-season match at the Home of FIFA, which took place under the strictest public health conditions

  • Recently-retired Swiss internationals Diego Benaglio and Stephan Lichtsteiner received special recognition from the FIFA President

  • Event follows an active period for the FIFA Foundation following the signature of a landmark memorandum of understanding

Living and loving football, but respecting COVID-19 regulations: this was the motto of the match at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, which included former Swiss and Argentinian internationals, together with FIFA Foundation executive chairman Mauricio Macri and FIFA Foundation CEO Youri Djorkaeff.

The event served to celebrate the presence of Mauricio Macri at the Home of FIFA and to conclude an active period for the FIFA Foundation which yesterday included the signature of a memorandum of understanding with UPL to promote sustainable development and education through football.

Friendly Match at Home of FIFA

Infantino honours Benaglio and Lichtsteiner

Esteban Cambiasso, Pascal Zuberbühler and former captains of the Swiss national team Diego Benaglio and Stephan Lichtsteiner, among others, played this match at the Home of FIFA showing their usual passion for the game.

"I was very pleased to be invited," said Benaglio. "As always, everything is perfectly organised, coming to FIFA and standing on the pitch with all these great players was really fun. It was an honour for me to be part of this match."

Friendly match at the Home of FIFA

The FIFA President was particularly pleased to welcome Benaglio and Lichtsteiner, whom he said: "Both can look back on two fantastic careers. They were, and still are rightly role models for many young players. With their performances, they have made the best promotion for Swiss football abroad. They are two full-blooded professionals who lived and celebrated football to the full. We can only take off our hat and thank them for everything they have done and will certainly continue to do for football."

"I had the privilege of participating in FIFA World Cups," said former Juventus, Arsenal and Augsburg defender Lichtsteiner. "They were always very well-organised and we players lacked nothing. It is a great moment for me to be here and to feel so much recognition from the president. It is a special recognition to feel the respect of these great personalities. It's also fun to meet players who have also had top careers. The exchange is valuable and for all of us it is great to celebrate football in this way."

FIFA President Gianni Infantino competes in a friendly match at the Home of FIFA