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Ten Sports to telecast Ronaldo XI vs Zidane XI charity match

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MUMBAI: A year after a similar event held last year in Switzerland, Real Madrid's Barnabeu Stadium is set to stage an all-star "Match against Poverty" on Tuesday organised by two of the teams superstars Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane.

The game, to fund United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) projects, will kick off at 9:30 pm local time (Wednesday, 1:30 am IST) and will be telecast live on Ten Sports.

The Match Against Povertyas it has been billed pits Ronaldo and Friends against Zinedine Zidane & Friends and is sanctioned by world governing body, FIFA, and supported by Real Madrid.

Zidane and Friends would be looking to avenge their 4-3 loss in the inaugural edition, which was played at St Jacobs Park Stadium in Basel, Switzerland, and raised in excess of $ 1.3 million for various UNDP projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America. A full-house 70,000 spectators are expected to watch the match, while television telecast will reach an additional 1.2 billion homes. Entry to the game will be free but organisers are asking spectators to make a donation to charity at the turnstiles.

Ten Sports is proud to be associated with this noble cause. Often, we regard sports purely as entertainment, but this match highlights the immense social contribution it makes to our lives, said Taj Television Ltd (owners of Ten Sports) CEO Chris McDonald.

Ronaldo and Zidane, who are goodwill ambassadors of UNDP, have invited some of the best names in the game for the match, including England skipper David Beckham, their teammate with Real Madrid. Also expected to take part are Luis Figo, Cesar, Roberto Carlos, Ivan Helguera, Raul, Paul Gascoigne, Alan Shearer and Patrick Kluivert, among others. Formula 1 superstar Michael Schumacher is also expected to take the field for some time and display his soccer skills.

Brazilian international Roque Junior, who was subjected to racist chanting when he played for German team Bayer Leverkusen against Real Madrid at the same venue earlier this year, has also accepted an invitation to play the match, thus underlining the importance of the cause. Acclaimed referee Pierluigi Collina, who officiated in the last international match of his career earlier this year during Euro 2004, will also come out of his retirement for the match.

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