Football legends roll back the years at UNICEF Match for Children

Published November 14th, 2015 - 07:18 GMT

The likes of Luis Figo, Paul Scholes and Ronaldinho joined the ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder David Beckham at Old Trafford, with Sir Alex Ferguson's team winning 3-1

Beckham was the star of the show at his Unicef Match for Children at a packed Old Trafford on Saturday.

Over two years on from his last match for Paris Saint-Germain and now aged 40, the former England international provided a reminder of his on-field prowess as well as his star quality.

Sir Alex Ferguson's Great Britain & Ireland team won 3-1 against Carlo Ancelotti's Rest of the World side in a game that had more than its fair share of memorable moments enjoyed by a lively crowd.

Beckham, who started his storied career at Manchester United, had already received a rapturous reception prior to kick-off when he addressed the crowd to thank them for supporting the charity match he played a key role in organising.

He was greeted by a standing ovation and the flicker of cameras every time he took a corner and had a positive influence on the match itself.

United supporters in attendance were treated to a trip down memory lane after 13 minutes when Beckham's cross from the right was met in the box by Paul Scholes, who headed home to prompt a wide smile from Ferguson in the dugout.

Beckham also had a hand in GB & Ireland's second goal, picking out Scholes at the back post who in turn set up Michael Owen to finish from six yards.

The former England captain then played in Ashley Cole in the closing minutes, with the defender's cutback missed by Raimond van der Gouw to leave Owen with the easiest of finishes.

Another ex-United star, Dwight Yorke, had made it 2-1 with a neat goal of his own.

Ronaldinho, who came tantalisingly close to playing his football at United before opting to join Barcelona from Paris Saint-Germain, caught the eye for Ancelotti's men.

The Brazilian put on a showcase of tricks and flicks throughout the match and almost embarrassed ex-Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman with a late chip in a repeat of the infamous incident at the 2002 World Cup.

Cafu, now 45, was more than a match for Roma defender Cole in an ongoing battle down the Rest of the World's right flank.

But this was Beckham's day, with his trademark pinpoint crosses from the right, sweeping long-range passes and threatening corners creating a string of chances for the likes of Scholes, Owen, Darren Fletcher and Peter Crouch.

And there was a touching moment when he was replaced by his son Brooklyn in the 76th minute. Beckham Sr came back on moments later to close the match out with his eldest child.

Beckham warmly embraced players from both sides after the full-time whistle and enjoyed the acclaim of Old Trafford as he thanked the supporters and posed for photos with Brooklyn.


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