Soccer Aid is returning on Sunday 10th June for the biannual charity match between England and The Rest Of The World.
As usual, the teams are made up of ‘legends’ – former football stars – and ‘celebrities’ various faces from the worlds of TV, film and sport.
The full teams have not yet been announced, but here are the players who have signed up so far…
Robbie Williams (captain)
Robbie is a Soccer Aid stalwart. Having originally conceived the idea with close friend Jonathan Wilkes, the former Take That star has appeared in all but one of the matches, even filling in as assistant manager when he was injured in 2014. He normally occupies the left-back position – and will be eager to finally score his first Soccer Aid goal.
Mo may have hung up the track running boots last year, but that’s not stopped him from lacing up his football boots. Britain’s most successful long-distance runner will be appearing in Soccer Aid for the first time, and will no doubt be hoping for the opportunity to break out his trademark Mobot celebration.
Olly has impressed on the wing in the last four events, with the popstar being praised as one of the best celebrity players to grace the Soccer Aid pitch. He’s one of many familiar faces returning this year.
Another Soccer Aid debutant, fitness coach and TV presenter Joe probably won’t need to worry much about stamina – he’ll likely be in better condition than most of the former professionals when the full time whistle blows!
Another returning celebrity, The Only Way is Essex star Mark caused quite a storm with his performance in the 2016 match. He scored a brilliant free kick goal, which you can see in the video below, and put in a man of the match performance, so he’s set himself a pretty high standard to live up to this time round!
Let the television presenter see the charity football match! Take Me Out host Paddy is another veteran of this fixture, appearing in every Soccer Aid since 2010. He’s appeared mainly as a substitute, and plays as a right back.
The Homeland and Billions actor played in the very first Soccer Aid back in 2006, and has gone on to make several subsequent appearances in the match, mainly as a central midfielder.
There’s yet to be a Soccer Aid match in which the former Arsenal keeper hasn’t started in goal, and that looks set to continue this year. Seaman was involved in a classic Soccer Aid moment last time round – when Ronaldinho attempted to recreate his famous free kick goal from the 2002 World Cup. Although Ronaldinho’s attempt prompted a smile from Seaman, the keeper wasn’t to be beaten this time.
The former Manchester United and Sunderland centre back hasn’t even retired from the professional game yet – he is currently playing in India with the Kerala Blasters – so he could be a useful presence in the England back four.
Neville will be making his second Soccer Aid appearance – the versatile former Manchester United and Everton player played in central midfield last time out.
The former Liverpool and England central midfielder is one of a handful of players to have scored in two separate Soccer Aid matches, netting in both 2010 and 2014. But perhaps he’s a bit of an unlucky charm – the two games he’s scored in are also the only two games the England side has lost!
Murphy has enjoyed a successful move into TV punditry since the end of his playing days. The former Liverpool and Fulham central midfielder is returning for his second taste of Soccer Aid action.
Fowler started up front in 2016, and now he’s one of two Liverpool legends who look to be leading the line this time round. He’ll likely be hungry for his first Soccer Aid goal, having failed to net last time.
2001 Ballon d’Or winner Owen is set to make his Soccer Aid debut. One of the greatest goalscorers of his generation, Owen will no doubt be a formidable opponent for The Rest Of The World’s defence.
Rest Of World
Usain Bolt (captain)
The record breaking Jamaican sprinter has made no secret of his passion for football – repeating on numerous occasions his desire to play for Manchester United, and even training with Borussia Dortmund. Now he’s finally getting his chance to play at Old Trafford in his first Soccer Aid appearance- and there can’t be many defenders who’d be able to match him pace for pace in a footrace!
Another Soccer Aid veteran, Ramsay will be looking to make up for last time – he had to withdraw with an injury in 2016. The Scottish chef, who played in Rangers’ youth teams as a teenager – might not be as vocal on the pitch as he is in the kitchen, but he’s still a handy player to have on the team.
The Australian dancer was in the headlines earlier this when his Strictly Come Dancing contract wasn’t renewed – meaning he’ll leave the show after 15 seasons. But his first Soccer Aid appearance should given Brendan another chance to show off his fancy footwork – will he be as successful on the football pitch as he is on the dancefloor?
Given his status as a legend of English cricket it might seem strange to see KP lining up AGAINST England – but he’s choosing to represent his home nation South Africa here. It will be Pietersen’s first Soccer Aid experience.
There’s no shortage of elite level sportsmen turning out this year and Dan Carter is amongst the best of them. The New Zealand rugby star has scored more points than any other player in the history of test match rugby – but can he add a goal at Old Trafford to his CV?
The Manchester United legend is making a triumphant return to Old Trafford. “There is no place like home,” the 51-year-old said. “Knowing I am coming back to Old Trafford is a special feeling.”
Edwin van der Sar
One of four former Dutch internationals confirmed for The Rest Of The World team, Van der Sar will be returning to the stadium where he enjoyed the brilliant last six years of his career. He’s previously started in goal in both the 2012 and 2014 iterations of Soccer Aid.
Another former Dutchman and another former Manchester United player, Stam will be making his fifth Soccer Aid appearance. His best display so far was in 2014 – when he went home with the Man of the Match award.
Seedorf holds two very impressive records. One, he is the only player to have won the Champions League with 3 different clubs (Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan) and two, he is the only player to have scored a hattrick in a Soccer Aid match (in 2014). Can the midfielder make history again?
Toure hasn’t played quite as often this season as he’s used to – but he’s still operating at a relatively high level compared to most of his Soccer Aid teammates. The four-time African player of the year should be a useful presence in midfield.
It’s 20 years since Robert Pires one the World Cup with France, and now the former Arsenal winger is set to make his Soccer Aid debut.
Another first time Soccer Aid player, Patrick Kluivert enjoyed a fruitful professional career with the likes of Ajax and Barcelona, as well as winning 79 caps for the Netherlands.