With the football season drawing to a close – and many of the leagues already settled – fans will be eagerly counting down the days until the start of the World Cup on 14th June.
But before that, there’s another international football extravaganza to look forward to: Soccer Aid, one of the biggest fundraising events in sport.
The event, which has run every second year since 2006, sees an England team take on the Rest of the World, with both squads comprised of a mixture of celebrities and footballing greats all in the name of charity.
Here’s everything you need to know about the 2018 edition…
When is Soccer Aid 2018?
This year’s match is scheduled for Sunday 10th June, just four days before the World Cup kicks off. What better way could there be of getting into the football spirit before the big tournament gets underway?
How can I watch Soccer Aid on TV?
As with previous editions of Soccer Aid, the match will be broadcast in full on ITV (and STV in Scotland), with coverage presented by Kirsty Gallacher. Kick-off is at 8pm.
Where is Soccer Aid being held?
The game will be played at Old Trafford, which has hosted all but one of the previous Soccer Aid matches.
Soccer Aid was originally the brainchild of Robbie Williams, so it’s no surprise that the popstar once again returns to captain the England side. The team will contain former internationals such as Michael Owen and Jamie Redknapp, and celebrities including former Homeland star Damian Lewis and Take Me Out Host Paddy McGuiness.
The Rest of the World squad will be skippered by first-time Soccer Aid participant Usain Bolt. United legend Eric Cantona will also be part of the Rest of the World team, marking a welcome return to Old Trafford. “There is no place like home,” the 51-year-old said.
Other members of the Rest of the World team include 1998 World Cup Winner Robert Pires and dancer Brendan Cole, formerly of Strictly Come Dancing.
It’s not yet known who will be managing the two sides – but expect some big names. Previous gaffers include Jose Mourinho, Kenny Dalglish and Claudio Ranieri.
Where does the money go?
All the proceeds, including ticket sales and public donations, go to Unicef. Since it began in 2006, Soccer Aid has helped raise almost £25 million for the children’s charity, with money going towards vaccine doses, improving drinking water and school facilities. It’s certainly a worthwhile cause.
Who won last time?
England have a rather better record in Soccer Aid than in most major international football tournaments, having won four out of the six matches so far. This includes the match in 2017, when a Jermaine Defoe double helped the home team to a 3-2 victory.