Aleksander Čeferin (foto: 24ur.com)
Football stars, led by the President of the European Football Association (UEFA), Aleksander Čeferin, who initiated the event, played a charity match in Stožice for the victims of the August floods in Slovenia.
The sold-out stadium saw the blue team triumph 5:4 in a penalty shootout. The match raised just over 3.5 million euros in total.
"I would like to thank everyone who helped, those who bought tickets, those who donated, and especially all the friends in the match," Čeferin addressed the 16,000-strong crowd at the start of the event.
The presentation of the participating footballers was symbolic, with stars accompanied by children from the Mengeš kindergarten, who had to be rescued by firefighters during the August floods. Footage of these rescues became a symbol of solidarity during the disaster in Slovenia.
The match, which lasted two 30-minute halves, showcased numerous football world celebrities. The audience also included 1,600 representatives of civil protection, firefighters, and soldiers who assisted flood victims in August.
The blue team, led by Slovenian national team coach Matjaž Kek, featured stars like Gianluigi Buffon, Paolo Maldini, Zlatan Ibrahimović, and many others. The red team, managed by legendary Italian strategist Fabio Capello, included players like David James, Luis Figo, and Mario Mandžukić.
During the halftime, which also featured a video message from legendary Brazilian Ronaldo, musical guests entertained the crowd. The entire proceeds, amounting to 3,512,031.34 euros from ticket sales and SMS donations, will go to flood victims.
The match, according to organizers, was broadcasted in over 100 countries worldwide.