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FIFA stars unite against poverty in 11th annual match

Luis Figo, Fabio Cannavaro and Patrick Vierra accepted Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane’s invitation to participate to FIFA’s 11th Annual Match Against Poverty

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Football stars Luis Figo, Fabio Cannavaro and Patrick Vierra accepted Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane’s invitation to participate to FIFA’s 11th Annual Match Against Poverty, the FIFA official website reported Wednesday.

“I am making an appeal to the public to come to the Stade de Suisse,” Figo said. “I would be delighted to see the stands full of people so we could celebrate football together in the fight against poverty. Let's help the Philippines.”

Speaking about the invitation, Vieira, who won the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2000 with France, said: “I am very excited about this game. Football speaks a universal language and we need to take advantage of this to appeal for the reconstruction of the Philippines.”

“It is a great honor to play alongside these talented players who have had such successful careers,” Cannavaro said, according to the website.

“Unfortunately, natural disasters affect us every year. The fight against poverty must be constant and I'm very happy if I can contribute to it through football,” he added.

The game, which will take place on March 4 at the Stade de Suisse in Berne, will gather players Pavel Nedved, Ronald de Boer, Steve McManaman, Robert Pires and Claude Makéléle, among others.

Proceeds from the match will support recovery efforts in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record.

Italian Pierluigi Collina will be the referee of the match.