Two of the world’s most decorated sporting organisations, Juventus and Real Madrid, stood side by side this afternoon in Turin to unveil the exciting UNESCO Cup charity fundraiser, an exhibition game to be contested at Juventus Stadium on Monday 2 June 2014.
After previously meeting in last year’s memorable ‘Corazon Classic Match 2013 Veracruz’ in Madrid, the Juventus Legends will return the favour by hosting their Real counterparts at the home of the Bianconeri.
Representing Juventus during this afternoon’s grand unveiling were president Andrea Agnelli and legends Edgar Davids, Pavel Nedved and Gianluca Pessotto, while president Florentino Perez and club greats Emilio Butragueno and Fernando Hierro flew the flag for Los Merengues.
Agnelli began: “It is thanks to Florentino Perez and Real Madrid, and last year’s request to participate in the Corazon Classic Match, that two of our initiatives got off the ground.
“The game sparked the beginning of the Juventus Legends project, and the involvement of these champions who have made history brought about another area of the stadium, perhaps one of the most prestigious, where our legends have access. We’ll now play the first UNESCO Cup, but it’s our intention to make this an annual event.”
Perez replied: “Juventus and Real Madrid are unique for millions of fans and symbolise the best of sport, and that’s why both must assume responsibility for helping those who suffer.”
The funds raised from the game will go towards two projects working to improve the lives of child soldiers in Mali and the Central African Republic and help restore peace in these countries. The aim of these initiatives is to provide the assistance needed for former child soldiers to be reintegrated into a peaceful society.
Explaining the reasons behind the choice, Eric Falt, Unesco's Assistant-Director General for External Relations and Public Information, added: “Too many children are victims of violence and grab weapons instead of kicking a ball. In Mali an estimated 1,000 youngsters under the age of 18 are kidnapped and enlisted in the military and in the Central African Republic the number is even greater, between 4 and 6,000.”
The projects will include professional and technical training to help the children learn simple trades and become autonomous through cultural, sporting and artistic events and literacy classes, enabling them to regain hope and confidence in themselves.