The annual Soccer Aid celebrity pro-am charity match was held at Old Trafford last night, with the “World XI” beating “England” for the fifth straight year, winning 4-2 thanks to goals from Usain Bolt, Kem Cetinay, and a brace from the irrepressible Robbie Keane. Though, of course, the result is secondary to the over £14 million(!) raised for a good cause, as usual.
In a mildly exciting part, the World XI were managed by none other than Mauricio Pochettino, and this was his first pseudo-match since agreeing to become the new Chelsea head coach, which assignment he will officially begin on July 1. Off to a winning start!
Emma Hayes helped out in the England dugout, who also counted Gary Cahill, Eni Aluko, and Karen Carney among their number. EBGC played the full-90, wearing his familiar No.24. Hernán Crespo got the start for the World XI but played only a half hour.
Kem Cetinay created Soccer Aid history to inspire the World XI to a fifth successive victory over England in the 2023 version of the charity football match.
The former Love Island star combined with former Tottenham striker Robbie Keane to blow the Three Lions away in the second half at Old Trafford.
After the drama of comedian Lee Mack’s winning penalty for the World XI last year, there was a clear winner in this year’s game.
A Global Charity Football Event
Usain Bolt gave the World XI the lead. Still, England stormed back in the second half thanks to Sex Education star Asa Butterfield and Paul Scholes capitalising on questionable goalkeeping from UFC champion Leon Edwards.
The world’s most significant charity football match, which raised £14,619,005 for Unicef by full-time, saw new Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino back in the dugout ahead of his return to the club game next month.
Keane would then hit a quick-fire double, forcing England manager and rapper Stormzy to gamble, leaving gaps open for the World XI to expose.
And Cetinay would race clear with 10 minutes remaining, running the length of the pitch before slamming home the fourth.
World XI made five Soccer Aid wins on the bounce against England on Sunday night.
The first half of a few chances saw Usain Bolt score the only goal, but the introduction of non-professional goalkeepers after the break saw the floodgates open.
Sex Education actor Asa Butterfield scored shortly after the restart with his first touch. Paul Scholes followed up minutes later with a trademark low drive into the bottom corner before going off injured to give England the lead.
Pochettino’s Future in Football and Potential Impact.
But that’s as good as it gets for England and manager Stormzy as Robbie Keane was then introduced and quickly scored twice, the first a fine finish off the inside of the post and the second a lovely dink amid a goalmouth scramble.
As tired legs started to set in, Love Island star Kem Cetinay took full advantage, running onto a loose pass from Sir Mo Farah to run from his own half and fire past goalkeeper Paddy McGuinness for his fifth Soccer Aid goal and World XI’s fourth on the night.
Soccer Aid is an annual charity football match raising money for children’s charity UNICEF. First held in 2006 as a biennial event, Soccer Aid has raised more than £38 million through ticket sales and donations.
The perennially entertaining exhibition match is contested between England and a “World XI,” with both teams comprised of celebrities and football legends, both male and female, giving spectators a chance to see famous faces and their footballing heroes go head-to-head in a fun and friendly atmosphere.
Strategies that Led to Success
The 2023 edition will feature England legends such as Jill Scott, Gary Neville, and Paul Scholes alongside sports and entertainment stars, including Usain Bolt, Sir Mo Farah, and Tom Grennan.
Standard tickets are available in Categories 1 through 5, covering a variety of locations and views around the ground across a range of prices, with the former being the most expensive and the latter the most affordable.
For those seeking a more upscale matchday experience, Premium Seats and several hospitality options – the International Suite, Salford Grill, and Private Executive Box – are also available.
All profits go to UNICEF, and you will also have the option of adding a further donation at the point of sale.