September 7 2004
Children's Triumph at the SOS Children's Villages "Samba Soccer Charity"
Former football greats from Brazil and Germany raise 200,000 Euros
07/09/2004 - Former football stars from Brazil and Germany drew 1-1 at the "Samba Soccer Charity" in aid of SOS Children's Villages on Monday. Overall, the "Samba Soccer Charity" raised 200,000 Euros in donations. All proceeds from the match will go to the "6 Villages for 2006" campaign, which was launched by SOS Children's Villages and FIFA ahead of the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 TM.
Prior to the match the players entered the pitch hand in hand with children from the surrounding area and SOS Children's Villages, who sported T-shirts with the "6 villages for 2006" campaign logo.
Bebeto, one of many 1994 World Cup champions in the Brazilian squad that also included Jorginho, Dunga and Taffarel, opened the scoring in the 24th minute while Ulf Kirsten, a former German international, equalized in the 73rd minute. An 81st minute penalty by Germany's Stefan Kuntz saved by Brazilian goalkeeper Gilmar provided extra action for the crowds of 16,500 at Leipzig's newly constructed central stadium.
"In the name of SOS Children's Villages, we would like to thank all spectators, volunteers and, of course, the players who all made this charity match happen," said Georg Willeit, the executive director of Hermann-Gmeiner-Fonds Deutschland, a German association of SOS Children's Villages.
The "Samba Soccer Charity" was the first event of the "6 Villages for 2006" campaign, which will run until the end of the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 TM with the objective of collecting donations for six new SOS Children's Villages on different continents. These SOS Children's Villages, which will be constructed in Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Ukraine and Vietnam, will give many orphaned and abandoned children a new home.
Among the various prominent guests were the Mayor of Leipzig Mr. Holger Tschense and Princess Salimah Aga Khan, the SOS-Kinderdorf International Ambassador for Children. Princess Salimah Aga Khan paid a visit earlier in the day to the nearby SOS Children's Village in Saxony, where she talked with SOS mothers and children. This SOS Children's Village was opened 10 years ago and was the first of its kind in eastern Germany.
On Sunday evening, the Mayor of Leipzig invited Princess Salimah Aga Khan as well as players and other special guests to a reception at the Auerbachs Keller in Leipzig - a restaurant which inspired the name of a scene in German author Goethe's Faust. At this reception, Brazil's Jorginho said: "We have received a lot in our lives and we believe in sharing this and giving to children in need. Through our sport we have the opportunity to give something back."
The "Samba Soccer Charity" was broadcast live on German sports channel DSF. Lutricia McNeal warmed up audiences with a pre-match performance that included her number one hit "Stranded", while the Austrian band Opus played at half-time and performed their former top hit "Life is Life".
"This charity match was a wonderful idea. Together we can do so much to help children. We all had a lot of fun and were able to do something good in the meantime," said Brazil's Paulo Sergio, while Germany's 1990 World Champion Stefan Reuter said: "Such a charity match is a wonderful thing that players like us must support. Meeting friends and doing something good is an ideal combination."