Even though I know as much soccer as the next American, I cannot help but watch Soccer Aid when it comes on every two years. As the biggest charity event in England, many celebrities come together to take part in the game to help children all around the world.
Since its conception in 2006 by UNICEF UK ambassador Robbie Williams and Jonathan Wilkes, Soccer Aid is played by two teams: England vs. The Rest of the World. Made up with professional soccer players such as Roy Keane, along with notable celebrities like Michael Sheen, both teams play head to head for the winning trophy. But the real win for these players are the donations that are received during the match. In 2014, Soccer Aid raised 4.2 million British pounds, and the hope is to raise an even larger amount in 2016. As a part of UNICEF, which is a non-profit organization that helps children who suffer from starvation, homelessness, war and conflict, disease, and abuse, the donations received during the soccer aid match helps feed and clothe children in over 190 countries.
Even though Soccer Aid is meant to raise money for children and give awareness to the many problems that face children today, there are other things the Soccer Aid provide for the public as well, and that is watching your favorite celebrities attempt to be soccer players for a day. In 2014, Will Ferrell was a part of the Rest of the World team, and although the famous comedian has played roles in which he is a professional basketball player and Nascar driver, it is safe to say that he should also add soccer player to his list of expertise. Others included James McAvoy, Olly Murs, Robbie Williams, Gerard Butler and Gordon Ramsay, who used to be a professional soccer player before injuring himself and turning towards the life of endless parade of gourmet meals.
This year’s Soccer Aid will be held on June 5th at Old Trafford, and although the lineup for the teams are not yet complete, the anticipation for the match is at an all time high. Helping children reach for a better life should never be an afterthought and this charity event helps remind us of that. Tuning in to watch this soccer match may confuse most of us Americans, but after all, it is for a good cause.
To learn more about Soccer Aid, UNICEF, and the help they provide go to socceraid.unicef.org.uk.