Bhutia to rub shoulders with former stars in Laureus match

New Delhi: Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia will rub shoulders with a host of yesteryear stars, including World Cup winner Marcel Desailly of France and former England winger Steve McManaman, in the Laureus Football Challenge charity match in Abu Dhabi on February 7.

The seven-a-side match will have two halves of 30 minutes each, and will be played just hours before the Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony at the Emirates Palace Hotel.

Former World Cup winning captains Bobby Charlton of England and Germany`s Franz Beckenbauer, both members of Laureus Sports Academy, will lend support from the stands during the match.

The two goalkeepers will be Victor Baia of Portugal, who has played over 400 times for Porto between 1988 and 2007, and Saudi Arabian legend Mohammed Abdullaziz Al Deayea, who appeared in four World Cups and holds the world record for most international appearances by a male footballer at 181 matches.

Besides Desailly, the other defenders will be 1990 World Cup winner German Thomas Berthold, former Spain and Real Madrid player Ivan Helguera, Fernando Couto of Portugal, South African Lucas Radebe and former long-time Real Madrid captain Manuel Sanchis.

Besides Bhutia and McManaman, the upfront will have former Ajax and Netherlands star Ronald de Boer, country-mate Edgar Davids, Portuguese Pauleta and former Trinidad and Tobago international Dwight Yorke who played most of his club football in England.