Sporting legend David Beckham took over Manchester United’s instagram account and reminisced about some of his former team mates ahead of Saturday’s Match For Children that will raise funds for UNICEF, a charity that Beckham has been heavily associated with.
The match at Old Trafford will see Sir Alex Ferguson return to the dugout to manage Beckham and many British and Irish stars against a Rest of the World XI led by Carlo Ancelotti.
The host team includes the likes of David Seaman, John Terry, Michael Owen, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes while Ancelotti’s team includes international stars like Zinedine Zidane, who played with the former England captain at Real Madrid, Brazilian legend Cafu, Ronaldinho, Robert Pires and Luis Figo to name a few.
Reliving his past moments, Beckham paid special tributes to some of his peers.
Hi – It’s @DavidBeckham. I’m going to talk about some of my former team-mates who’ll all be at Saturday’s #MatchForChildren. First up is Cafu – what a player! Three consecutive World Cup finals as a captain. To have played as long as he has at the top level is incredible. He commanded so much respect. #BecksIsBack
Describing Zidane as “one of the greatest players to have ever played the game”, Beckham picked out the Frenchman’s particular performance at Old Trafford as one of his finest moments.
“Last time I played against him at Old Trafford he put in one of the best performances I have ever seen at the ground,” Beckham wrote on United’s Instagram account.
“He’s one of the reasons I’m so excited about Saturday’s game.”
Speaking highly on Ryan Giggs Beckham posted, “When I watched Giggsy as a young player, he was truly something special.”
“No matter if he was playing for the B team, A team, reserves or first team he was simply untouchable. A United great.”
Speaking about Brazilian ace Ronaldinho, Beckham said, “There was a period in Ronaldinho’s time at Barcelona where he was almost unplayable.”
“Effortless, relaxed, always with a smile on his face, he’s a genius with the ball. I love Brazilian football and he is one of the best ever players from that country.”
As part of “Becks is back” takeover, Beckham also took out time to talk about Brazilian World Cup winning legend Cafu and praised his longevity and consistency as ‘incredible’, while calling Nicky Butt a top player and one of United’s leaders.
“Nicky Butt is one of the hardest midfielders I ever played with,” Beckham posted. “Once in training I pinged a ball from 40 yards onto his head, he looked around and I thought he was going to kill me.”
Former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira, Michael Owen Rio Ferdinand, and Luis Figo are also set to play in the match.
GB and Ireland squad: David Beckham (Captain), David Seaman, David James, Sol Campbell, John Terry, Phil Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Jamie Carragher, Ashley Cole, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Michael Owen, Andy Cole
Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson
Rest of the World XI squad: Zinedine Zidane (Captain), Edwin van der Saar, Cafu, Fabio Cannavaro, Alessandro Nesta, Luis Figo, Ronaldinho, Patrick Vieira, Michael Ballack, Massimo Ambrosini, Robert Pires, Dwight Yorke, Patrick Kluivert, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Landon Donovan
Manager: Carlo Ancelotti
Referee: Pierluigi Collina