Wednesday, January 26, 2011


• Edgar Davids, Marcel Desailly, Ivan Helguera, Steve McManaman and Mohammed Al Deayea among world famous players taking part in IWC Schaffhausen presented event

• Laureus Academy Members Bobby Charlton and Franz Beckenbauer

to attend match on Monday, February 7, 12.30hrs

• Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Abu Dhabi, February 5-7

• Apply for media accreditation on

ABU DHABI, January 26, 2011 – A glittering collection of football stars are to play in the first ever Laureus Football Challenge as part of the 2011 Laureus World Sports Awards in Abu Dhabi.

Presented by Laureus Global Partner IWC Schaffhausen, the Laureus Football Challenge will take place at 12.30hrs on Monday, February 7, just hours before the Laureus Awards Ceremony, at the Emirates Palace Hotel, and will feature some of the most celebrated football names in Europe.

Among the players in action will be:

Vitor Baia (Portugal) Goalkeeper: played over 400 times for Porto between 1988 and 2007. Played in the Jose Mourinho Porto team which beat Monaco in the 2004 Champions League final

Thomas Berthold (Germany) Defender: between 1985 and 1994 he played 62 times for Germany, including the 1990 World Cup Final. Played for VfB Stuttgart between 1993 and 2000

Ronald de Boer (Netherlands) Midfielder: played 67 times for Holland, including 1994 and 1998 World Cups. Won Champions League with Ajax in 1995. Also played for Qatari teams Al-Rayyan and Al-Shamal

Fernando Couto (Portugal) Defender: represented Portugal in 110 matches, and took part in the 2002 World Cup. Played his club football for Porto, Parma, Barcelona and Lazio

Edgar Davids (Holland) Midfield: played with Ajax, AC Milan, Juventus, where he played in Serie A winning teams in 1998, 2002 and 2003, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Tottenham. Played 74 times for Holland

Marcel Desailly (France) Defender: World Cup and European Championship winner with France in 1998 and 2000. Won Champions League in successive years with Olympique Marseilles (1993) and AC Milan (1994)

Ivan Helguera (Spain) Defender: played 47 times for Spain, and 229 times for Real Madrid between 1999 and 2007. Played in two winning Champions League teams – 2000 and 2002

Steve McManaman (England) Winger: played 274 times for Liverpool and 94 times for Real Madrid. Was the creative brain behind many goals scored by Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen. Played 37 times for England

Pauleta (Portugal) Striker: scored 47 goals in 88 matches for Portugal. Played for many Portuguese teams and French clubs Bordeaux and Paris Saint-Germain, for whom he played 168 matches and scored 76 goals

Lucas Radebe (South Africa) Defender: Played for Kaizer Chiefs for five years before moving to Leeds United in England where he made 200 appearances. Played 70 times for South Africa

Manuel Sanchis (Spain) Defender: spent his entire career with Real Madrid, making his debut in December 1983 and playing in 710 matches and captaining the side for 13 years.

Dwight Yorke (Trinidad & Tobago) Striker: played most of his club football in England for Aston Villa, Manchester United and Blackburn. Played 72 times for Trinidad & Tobago

Mohammed Abdullaziz Al Deayea (Saudi Arabia) Goalkeeper: appeared in four World Cups for Saudi Arabia and holds world record for most international appearances by a male footballer – 181

Baichung Bhutia (India) Striker: captain and most capped player of Indian national team, currently plays for East Bengal club. In 1999, at English club Bury, became first Indian footballer to play professionally in Europe.

The Laureus Football Challenge will be a prestige seven-a-side match of two halves of 30 minutes each, played between two squads selected from these incredible world class footballers. On the sidelines giving their support will be Laureus World Sports Academy Members and football legends Franz Beckenbauer and Bobby Charlton, who famously played against each other in the England v West Germany 1966 World Cup Final.

Later in the day, following the match, the 2011 Laureus World Sports Awards will be presented at a televised Awards Ceremony at the Emirates Palace Hotel.

The Awards, which recognise sporting achievement during the calendar year 2010, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar. The winners are selected by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time.

The full list of Nominees for the 2011 Laureus World Sports Awards is:

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year

Kobe Bryant (US, basketball), Andres Iniesta (Spain, football), Lionel Messi (Argentina, football), Rafael Nadal (Spain, tennis), Manny Pacquiao (Philippines, boxing), Sebastian Vettel (Germany, motor racing)

Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year

Kim Clijsters (Belgium, tennis), Jessica Ennis (UK, athletics), Blanka Vlasic (Croatia, athletics), Lindsey Vonn (US, skiing), Serena Williams (US, tennis), Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark, tennis)

Laureus World Team of the Year

All Blacks (New Zealand, rugby), European Ryder Cup Team (golf), Inter Milan (Italy, football), Los Angeles Lakers (US, basketball), Red Bull Formula One Team (Austria), Spain World Cup Team (football)

Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year

Martin Kaymer (Germany, golf), Christophe Lemaitre (France, athletics), Matteo Manassero (Italy, golf), Thomas Muller (Germany, football), Louis Oosthuizen (S.Africa, golf), Teddy Tamgho (France, athletics)

Laureus World Comeback of the Year

Paula Creamer (US, golf), Tyson Gay (US, athletics), Justine Henin (Belgium, tennis), Carolina Kluft (Sweden, athletics), Merlene Ottey (Slovenia, athletics), Valentino Rossi (Italy, motor cycling)

Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability

Verena Bentele (Germany, skiing/biathlon), Matt Cowdrey (Australia, swimming), Daniel Dias (Brazil, swimming), Jakub Krako (Slovakia, skiing), Esther Vergeer (Netherlands, wheelchair tennis), Lauren Woolstencroft (Canada, skiing)

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year

Jamie Bestwick (UK, BMX), Victor Fernandez (Spain, windsurfing), Stephanie Gilmore (Australia, surfing), Levi Sherwood (N.Zealand, freestyle moto-cross), Kelly Slater (US, surfing), Shaun White (US, snowboarding)

For biographies of Nominees go to

The Laureus World Sports Awards is returning to Abu Dhabi thanks to the support of Aabar Investments PJS, who will once again be Host Partner for the event. His Excellency Khadem Al Qubaisi, Chairman of Aabar, said: "The Laureus World Sports Awards is a unique event. It was magnificent, a great success for Abu Dhabi when it was held here last March. The whole event was really superb. We will certainly try to do something special for this year’s Awards.”

Two-time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey will once again host the Awards Ceremony which is attended by leading sportsmen and women from around the world. In the audience at a packed auditorium at the Emirates Palace last year were Academy Award-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, British film stars Hugh Grant and Clive Owen and American actors Kyle MacLachlan and Michelle Rodriguez. Among the names of the winners of the 2010 Laureus World Sports Awards announced in Abu Dhabi were Usain Bolt, Serena Williams, Jenson Button, Kim Clijsters, Natalie du Toit and Stephanie Gilmore.

Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, offers a fascinating combination of the old and the new; a blend of Arabic hospitality and mystique where a mixture of culture and tradition come together against a backdrop of the most modern world-class infrastructure. Abu Dhabi is developing a reputation as a great sporting venue as host city for the FIFA Club World Cup, the Etihad Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix and the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, all highlights of the sporting calendar in the city.

Aabar Investments PJS is an investment company headquartered in Abu Dhabi. It invests in various sectors including aerospace, real estate, automotive and financial services. Its largest stakeholder is the International Petroleum Investment Company, which is wholly owned by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation which supports almost 80 community sports projects around the world. Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €35 million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of more than one million young people.

To apply for accreditation for the 2011 Laureus World Sports Awards, go to

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