Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger will be back in the managerial dug-outs for Soccer Aid for UNICEF at the London Stadium this summer.
Wenger managed the Gunners between 1996 and 2018, clinching three Premier League titles and seven FA Cup trophies before Unai Emery replaced him at the Emirates Stadium. Since then, the Frenchman has been FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, where he has fronted controversial proposals of a biennial World Cup.
Now, it has been announced that he will manage Soccer Aid World XI FC in June, captained by Usain Bolt, 10 years on from his heroic 2012 gold medal triumphs in the very same stadium. Bolt and Wenger will be joined by the likes of Tottenham Hotspur hero Robbie Keane and former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, as well as a host of other celebrities.
Meanwhile, former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp will be in the opposite dugout to Wenger. Redknapp’s England squad will contain the likes of Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher and Joe Cole, plus a number of celebrities including captain Liam Payne.
The June event will be the 11th time the two sides have met, with both teams winning five each from the 10 previous meetings. It will be broadcast live on ITV and STV, hosted by UNICEF UK Ambassador Dermot O’Leary whilst Alex Scott will be a pitch-side reporter.
UNICEF have raised over £60million to help give children all over the world a childhood full of play since UK Ambassador Robbie William co-founded the concept, and Williams will be singing this year.
Speaking ahead of the event, Wenger said: “I am really looking forward to this special football match in June. It’s great and special to play a football match together with former opponents for a good purpose.
“Football unites, football gives hope and I am looking forward to making my contribution on Sunday 12th June at the London Stadium.” Similarly, Redknapp was full of praise for the event.
He added: “Harry Redknapp, England Manager – who would ever have thought that, eh? Not that I was keeping score – but they tell me that England haven’t won since 2018.
“Oh dear. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I would never turn my country down, so when they asked me to be England Manager, I had to say yes.
“I know Usain is a bit miffed I’m leaving him – but the big man will get over that! I hope to see you all there on Sunday 12th June. Get your tickets now!”
- Tickets for the game on Sunday 12th June are on sale now via www.socceraid.org.uk/tickets with a family of four able to attend for £60 – two adults and two children.