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EU 50th Anniversary Football Match
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EU 50th Anniversary Football Match

Europe’s footballing greats mark EU’s 50th birthday in Manchester

The best of European football was on show in Manchester on 13 March when a European All Stars team met Manchester United in a friendly match. The game commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome that marked the creation of the European Union. Manchester United was also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the team’s participation in UEFA’s European club competition.

Record crowd for anniversary football

special celebration match between an all-star Europe XI and Manchester United  The special celebration match between an all-star Europe XI and Manchester United attracted the the biggest ever crowd for a friendly at Old Trafford with a remarkable 74,343 fans turning out to see their footballing heroes; the match ended in a 4:3 win for Manchester United. All proceeds went to charity.  



Playing for Europe: football stars unite to celebrate 50 years of the EU

Sir Bobby Charlton, José Manuel Barroso, Michel Platini and Marcello Lippi at the Press Conference in Brussels on 12 March 2007  The latest details of the 50th anniversary match were announced today at a special press conference in Brussels hosted by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Michel Platini, President of UEFA, and Sir Bobby Charlton, representing Manchester United.

During the press conference, Mr Barroso was presented with a football shirt in the European team colours sporting the number 27 – representing the 27 member states of the European Union.

The Commission president said: “Throughout my childhood, I had the pleasure to watch the great Manchester teams play in Europe. It is a great way to mark the 50th Anniversary of the creation of the European Union through the great game of football. It inspires Europeans in a unique way, through a shared passion and a language understood by all.”

Michel Platini, said he felt very proud that UEFA, which brought together the all-star European XI coached by Italian World Cup winner Marcello Lippi, had been able to organise the match.

“Football brings people together. In a continent so proud of its cultural diversity, football offers a common language. It helps to integrate different communities. At its best, our sport conveys some of Europe’s basic values: the rule of law, respect for others, freedom of expression, teamwork and solidarity”, he said.

 Representing Manchester United, Sir Bobby Charlton said the match was a sell-out, with a 72,000 capacity crowd. "The history of Manchester United is tied up with that of Europe. Some of the club's greatest moments have been played out on a European stage. I look forward to welcoming so many stars and friends to Old Trafford to celebrate these two significant anniversaries."

The Europe XI squad for the match currently includes Olivier Kahn, Grégory Coupet, Iker Casillas, Paolo Maldini, Jamie Carragher, Eric Abidal, Lilan Thuram, Carles Puyol, Marco Materazzi, Fabio Grosso, Gianluca Zambrotta, Steven Gerrard, Juninho Pernambucano, Florent Malouda, Luis Miguel, Gennaro Gattuso, Andrea Pirlo, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Alessandro Mancini, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrik Larsson.

Watch the Press Conference here (free of charge but requires simple registration first).


Dazzling line-up takes shape for Europe XI match - 28 February 2007

The all-star Europe XI to face Manchester United at Old Trafford on 13 March in a game to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the modern-day European Union will include the top players from Barcelona’s Champions League winning team, Carles Puyol, Gianluca Zambrotta, Lilian Thuram and Ronaldinho following an agreement reached with Barça manager Frank Rijkaard today. They join a European squad already boasting English greats such as David Beckham and Steven Gerrard and French internati...

More >>

Touch of continental class injected into Europe XI - 16 February 2007

Houllier and Ferguson - copyright UEFA Top French internationals and Olympique Lyonnais players were the latest stars to be unveiled as part of the Europe XI to face Manchester United at Old Trafford on 13 March. The celebration game marks the 50th anniversary of the modern-day European Union and the 50th anniversary of United’s participation in European club competitions. Eric Abidal, Grégory Coupet and Juninho Pernambucano will bolster a European squad already boasting English greats David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. The European squad is selected and coached by Italian World Cup winner Marcello Lippi.

Grégory Coupet is the first goalkeeper to be selected for the European team while international team-mate Eric Abidal, who represented France at left-back in last summer’s FIFA World Cup final against Marcello Lippi’s Italy, will further strengthen the defence. Relishing the prospect of doing battle against his World Cup team-mates Mikaël Silvestre and Louis Saha Abidal said: “I’m sure they’ll give us a warm welcome – and will want to beat us.”

“It is a great honour to be invited to be part of an event that brings UEFA and the European Union together”, said former Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier, who will accompany his players to Manchester for the occasion. More >>

England’s finest to lead top European stars - 13 February 2007

 Marcello Lippi The best of European football will be on show in Manchester on 13 March to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signature of the Treaty of Rome setting up the modern-day European Union. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of their participation as the first English team to play UEFA’s European club competition, Manchester United will play a Europe XI to be coached by Italian World Cup winner Marcello Lippi.  The first confirmed players in the European team are former Manchester United star David Beckham, currently with Real Madrid, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. More >> 




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Last update: 21/05/2007  |E-mail this page | Top