Real Madrid legend Michel Salgado scored a sweet goal as a selection of former footballers combined with volunteers to play a novelty match in Moscow on Monday.
Monday was dedicated as a day to appreciate thousands of volunteers who have selflessly worked to make the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia a huge success in the special “Thank You Volunteers” events.
Salgado led the “Red Team” – a colour dedicated for the Volunteers against the “White Team” led by former Arsenal and Real Madrid star Julio Baptista. The Six-A-side game, played at a special pitch inside the Red Square Garden in Moscow ended in an entertaining 3-3 draw – both teams had at least three ladies each in their squad.
Former Russian football star Dmitry Bulykin who is the Ambassador for host city, Nizhny Novgorod featured in Salgado’s team and scored the game’s opening goal. Baptista’s White Team swiftly equalised through one of the lady volunteers, Angela.
A star performer on the day was Russia 2018 LOC Chairman Arkady Dvorkovich whose energetic display in Baptista’s team left mouths agape. The 46-year old former Chess player intercepted several of the Red Team’s moves although was unable to prevent Salgado from initiating and completing a move with a fine curler which drew loud ovation from the crowd, predominantly made of volunteers.
Baptista scored the game’s last goal, equalising for his team just one minute to the end of the fifteen minutes of regulation time.
Both set of players and spectators were rewarded with gifts from the Local Organising Committee of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia in the final act of the “Thank you Volunteers” event.
Fisayo Dairo reporting from Moscow