With expectation and nerves circling the country as England’s World Cup campaign approaches, a chance to enjoy the lighter side of football couldn’t come at a better time.
Soccer Aid sees an England XI take on a Rest of the World XI at Old Trafford, as celebrities and legends of the past unite for a fun-filled evening in front of a capacity crowd, with proceeds going to charity.
We’ve seen some fantastic and hilarious action in Soccer Aid matches of the past and 2014’s instalment promises to be no different, with some big names taking to Manchester on Sunday.
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester
Date: Sunday, June 8
Time: 8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET
TV Info: ITV (UK only)
Live Stream: ITV Player (UK only)
|Robbie Williams||Jamie Redknapp||Sam Allardyce|
|Stephen Moyer||Jamie Carragher||Robbie Williams|
|Jack Whitehall||Paul Ince||Peter Reid|
|Mark Owen||David Seaman||Bradley Walsh|
|Olly Murs||Teddy Sheringham|
|Paddy McGuinness||Des Walker|
Rest of the World squad:
|Michael Sheen||Edwin van der Sar||Jose Mourinho|
|James McAvoy||Jaap Stam|
|Gordon Ramsay||Edgar Davids|
|Kevin Bridges||Alessandro Del Piero|
|Nicky Byrne||Clarence Seedorf|
|Patrick Kielty||Andriy Shevchenko|
Stars Shining in Manchester
There’s something about a charity football match that we can’t help but love. Seeing celebrities make fools of themselves and past footballers prove that you never lose it is what Soccer Aid is all about, and the fact that UNICEF will benefit from the evening makes it that little bit better.
Singer Robbie Williams will be involved in his fourth Soccer Aid, though this time he’ll be doing it from the bench as assistant manager to Sam Allardyce, as Soccer Aid revealed via Twitter:
Alongside West Ham manager Allardyce, Williams will be overlooking the likes of Olly Murs, John Bishop, Jack Whitehall, Teddy Sheringham and Paul Ince as they look to fire England to Soccer Aid glory.
Speaking with Dianne Bourne of the Manchester Evening News, Williams revealed just how great a feeling it is to play at Old Trafford, but he is looking forward to taking a back seat as Allardyce’s assistant:
It’s hard to describe the feeling when you walk out onto the Theatre of Dreams, hear the roar from the crowd, and line up next to football legends who you remember watching as a kid. I’ll be listening to Big Sam and follow his lead. I’ll be his assistant manager this year, what a dream job.
The Rock DJ singer will be looking to emulate England’s 2012 Soccer Aid win, where goals from Sheringham, Kevin Phillips and Jonathan Wilkes gave England a 3-1 win over the Rest of the World.
This year, however, the Rest of the World have a secret weapon at their disposal—the Special One in the manager’s dugout.
Jose Mourinho will lead his star-studded outfit at Old Trafford, with Alessandro Del Piero, Andriy Shevchenko, Clarence Seedorf, Kevin Bridges and Michael Sheen looking to win a Soccer Aid match for the first time in 90 minutes.
Sheen, who will return as captain of the Rest of the World for the third time on Sunday, said that seeing the difference Soccer Aid makes to the lives of those less fortunate makes it special—per Bourne:
The rush of walking out onto the pitch at Old Trafford and lining up with some of the greats of world football is every boy’s dream isn’t it. I’m also looking forward to renewing rivalries with Robbie but arguably best of all is knowing the difference that this game of football makes. I went out to Chad last year with UNICEF to see first-hand how the money raised through Soccer Aid is helping to change children’s lives. That’s what really makes Soccer Aid so special.
Hardly a game to get the adrenaline flowing, but Soccer Aid 2014 promises celebrities, legends, goals and a difference to the world.
With so many great players on show at Old Trafford, it’s bound to be a spectacle, too. Though Mourinho won’t be sprinting down the touchline after a Rest of the World winner, legends and celebrities alike will still be competitive enough to treat us to a great game in Manchester.