The Soccer Aid for Unicef match took place in Manchester recently. Hublot was both the official timekeeper for this charity event, and the partner of one of the two teams battling it out, the World XI team captained by brand ambassador, Usain Bolt.
Back in February, sprinting legend Usain Bolt surprised the more than five million of his social media fans by announcing his transition to the world of football, fulfilling his childhood dream of becoming a footballer.
After his first appearance on the pitch during a “friendly” organised by Hublot, which took place alongside the Baselworld 2018 watch fair, and which saw Diego Maradona and José Mourinho’s teams battle it out, he captained the World XI team during the Soccer Aid World XI match, taking on the England team. This clash of the Titans was held in the iconic Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, just four days before the 2018 FIFA World CupTM kicks off in Russia.
“Since 2006, Unicef has been able to provide help to many children in need thanks to these football matches. During this match, Hublot had the privilege of contributing to this honourable initiative in its role as both official timekeeper and supporter of the team!” – Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot
The match was organised under the Unicef banner to raise money to help children at risk across the world. A total of over £24 million had already been raised through ticket sales and donations before this match even started. This incredible sum is the combined total from the previous Unicef Soccer Aid matches, which have now been taking place for twelve years. At the 2016 event, the England team beat the World XI with a score of 3-2.
Usain Bolt, Hublot Ambassador and Captain of the World XI Team
Facing them will be Usain Bolt’s team, which features former professional footballers and celebrities such as the chef Gordon Ramsay. Together, they represent the rest of the world. A long-standing Hublot ambassador, the Lightning Bolt was able to count on support from the Nyon manufacture when forming his team for this latest challenge. Their opponents were Robbie Williams’ England team. A Unicef UK ambassador and friend of the Swiss watch brand, the singer was responsible for co-founding and launching the Soccer Aid initiative in 2006. He was surrounded during this match by an all-star team, including four-time Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah. At the end of a thrilling clash, the England team managed to claim victory with a score of 4-3.
“I co-founded Soccer Aid in 2006, and since then we’ve helped to raise over £24m for children in danger around the world. We hope to raise even more this year with the help of the public, sponsors and the UK Government (who is matching donations pound-for-pound), so that we can further help this fantastic cause.” – Robbie Williams, Hublot Friend of the Brand
In addition to its support for Usain Bolt’s team, the Hublot manufacture also acted as the official timekeeper for the match, providing the fourth official’s board, and reinforcing its links with the beautiful game. This association already dates back 12 years, when the Nyon manufacture started to sponsor the Swiss national team. Since then, Hublot has become the “FIFA Official Watch”, and will be acting as Official Timekeeper for the FIFA World CupTM for the third time, when the competition starts in Russia.
WORLD XI TEAM
Usain Bolt, Gordon Ramsay, Brendan Cole, Clarence Seedorf, Robert Pirès, Yaya Tourè, Kevin Pietersen, Dan Carter, Martin Compston, Ioan Gruffudd, Jaap Stam, Ashley Fongho, Patrick Kluivert, Edwin van der Sar, Eric Cantona, Robbie Keane, Jeremy Lynch and Nicky Byrne.
Robbie Williams, Sir Mo Farah, Mark Wright, Myles Stephenson, Paddy McGuinness, Joe Wicks, David Seaman, Jamie Redknapp, Danny Murphy, Michael Owen, Jamie Redknapp, Wes Brown, Sam Allardyce, John Bishop, Olly Murs, Ben Shephard, Bradley Walsh, Freddie Flintoff, Lee Mack, Damien Lewis, David Harewood, Billy Wingrove and Phil Neville.