Brazil, Reggae Boyz legends in mega clash
Jamaica's football heroes versus some of Brazil's biggest names in the sport.
That is what is on offer at this Friday's 'Share the Love' football friendly between a Brazilian all-star contingent that features the likes of Rivaldo and Dunga, and a Jamaican unit, that boasts World Cup 1998, history-makers Ricardo Gardner, Ian Goodison and Walter Boyd.
Director at Ballaz International and organiser of the event, AndrÈ Virtue, is hoping that this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will not only serve to motivate the current and future generations of Jamaican footballers, but will also encourage the spirit of unity.
The 'Share The Love' Brazil All Stars vs Jamaica All Stars tour match will take place at the National Stadium and is scheduled for a 7:30 pm kick-off.
"I am very excited that we were able to bring this together. It was obviously a big task getting some of these players, but having gotten that out of the way, we are looking forward to an exciting time," Virtue told The Gleaner in the build up to the highly anticipated clash.
"We are a country that is excited about Brazilian football, and to bring that together with our own heroes and then our future players, its built to be something exciting, and so we are pushing to see the crowd come out and enjoy some good football," added Virtue.
The Brazilian contingent, which will begin arriving in the country today, will also feature former Lyon and Barcelona defensive midfielder and World Cup 2002 alumnus Edmilson, 1994 World Cup winner Paolo Sergio, who made his name at Bayer Leverkusen, Roma and Bayern Munich, Viola, Ze Carlos and several other less popular Brazilian players.
They will be tested by some of the island's footballing heroes, with Gardner, Goodison and Boyd. expected to be joined by the likes of Andy Williams, Fabian Davis and Gregory Messam.
Several Manning and daCosta Cup players will also be given the opportunity to share in the occasion in a move that Virtue hopes will fuel their drive towards continued improvements.
"I remember when I was younger, Socrates and the Brazilian team came here and it was a motivation for me. I got my autograph. It does something to inspire you when you can touch and see them with your own eyes, not just on TV, and I think this is exposure. The more our people can see it here, just like how we can see Usain Bolt and say I can be that person, we need to do that for all sports if we can do that," Virtue said.
"It's sharing the love and that's what we want to do. It's about unity, and the sport can be more than just about winning games, we can also change communities," added Virtue, who also shared that as part of the outreach efforts, the players will also be spending time in the Kingston community of Southside.
Tickets for the bleachers section will cost $1,500, with grandstand tickets going for $3,500 and $4,500.
These can be purchased at the Knutsford Court hotel, York pharmacy, Total gas station in New Kingston, Coochi-annas (New Kingston Shopping Centre), 876 Legends in Montego Bay, and Phoenix Fuels in Portmore.