Hublot brings together Bolt, Maradona, Mourinho and more stars for Match of Friendship

Sport360 staff 22/03/2018

With 85 days to go before the first match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off, Hublot brought together the friends of the brand to celebrate the beautiful game.

A Match of Friendship. Two one-off teams for an encounter that all football fans could have only dreamed of. True to its motto “First, Unique, Different”, Hublot invited Usain Bolt to play in his first game of football. The world sprinting champion, who is a football lover, put his feet to the service of Jose Mourinho’s team. Diego Maradona managed the opposing side.

The match was refereed by Nicola Rizzoli and his Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia smart watch. There are some sporting moments in history that live on forever and Hublot knows better than anybody how to create these moments!

Hall 4 at Baselworld turned into a football pitch and in the gallery we look back at the best pictures.

Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO Hublot, said: “This was the dream and Hublot has made it a reality! This match is everybody’s dream. Seeing the friends of the brand, legends on the pitch playing football, bringing together legendary sportsmen who have never played together for this exceptional encounter, creating two teams for a Match of Friendship, all this is more than we could have hoped for! What better proof of how football can bring people together!”

The format for a legendary game

1 – Match The Match of Friendship

30’ – of game time 2x 15’ with a 10’ half-time break

2 – Coaches Diego Maradona, José Mourinho

2 – Teams 18 Legends and Stars from the world of football

1 – International referee Nicola Rizzoli

2 – Masters of ceremonies, 2 Friends of the brand Michel Pont, Alan Shearer

1 – Watch The Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

Maradona’s team

Tino Asprilla, Roberto Carlos, Hernan Crespo, Gianni Infantino, Christian Karembeu, Marco Materazzi, Gaizka Mendieta, Angelo Peruzzi, and David Trezeguet

Jose Mourinho’s team

Usain Bolt, Vitor Baia, Stephane Chapuisat, Marcel Desailly, Damien Duff, Robbie Keane, Patrick Kluivert, Richard Orlinski and Alexei Smertin.

A fantastic event with @hublot at #baselworld2018! 👏

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Everything was in place, from the 4th official’s panel to the official FIFA World Cup mascot, Zabivaka and the recently unveiled Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia watch that gave a live demonstration of its functions. Hublot’s smart technology gave international referee Nicola Rizzoli notifications from Goal Line Technology live throughout this Match of Friendship, just as it will during the FIFA 2018 World Cup.

According to protocol, the two teams exchanged pennants at the start of the game. Going beyond pure ritual, this was a symbol of a friendly game held under the banner of friendship. At half-time, a freestyle football demonstration confirmed that anything can be done with a football: a performance from the “Freestyle Football” group, made up of five Polish football freestylers with incredible skills, presented an extract from their show that has already toured the world.

At the end of the game, the spirit and contagious energy of football was kept alive with the Cuban hip hop of the group Orishas who set the pitch alight, before DJ Teddy-O—another friend of the brand—spun the decks to produce his mix for the evening.

Once again, Hublot is the master of football.

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Bin Challenge is far from rubbish for YouTube's F2 Freestylers

Nick Watkins 22/03/2018
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Top bins: The F2 Freestylers

YouTube stars the F2 Freestylers challenged former Tottenham and Sevilla striker Freddie Kanoute to the Bin Challenge to raise awareness for the Kick Cancer campaign.

Footballing tricksters Billy Wingrove & Jeremy Lynch have developed a cult following of football fans with their skills and challenges on social media. The duo have over seven million subscribers and millions of views of their footballing showboating and have bought the Bin Challenge to the UAE, starting with the Dubai Festival City launch.

Ex-Premier League star Kanoute attended the event with young players from his academy in Dubai. The former Spurs striker took a few attempts himself to complete the challenge, which sees challengers use a piece of skill to land a football in the bin.

The Kick Cancer campaign aims to raise awareness and positive change and about prostate and testicular cancer, which affect one in three men. Barcelona star Luis Suarez is also supporting the campaign and school outreach programmes across the UAE.

Speaking exclusively to Sport 360 Kanoute said, “It’s an important campaign to be involved in because so many men will be affected by cancer during their life. These events are a good platform to raise awareness and funds to help those in need”. After completing the Bin Challenge the former attacker, spoke of the difference between footballers and freestylers. “We know the kids love watching these skills on YouTube all the time but it’s a different sport really, us footballers look ridiculous compared to these guys, but I did the challenge second or third time, so it wasn’t that bad.”

Taking the challenge: Freddy Kanoute

Taking the challenge: Freddy Kanoute

F2 Freestyler Billy told Sport 360: “It’s great being involved in the campaign, we’re amazed at how far we’ve come as freestylers to be asked to be involved in something like this. At first we had a dream of getting six million YouTube subscribers because there was someone doing a similar sort of thing as us and we wanted to catch them. Now we’re on seven million so it’s incredible that, even though we never made it as footballers, we’re getting the same satisfaction out of inspiring kids using skills instead”.

“We’re surprised at just how big it’s gone”, admitted fellow Freestyler Jeremy Lynch. “We always had a vision for the F2 and we actually have to move quickly when we’re creating our skills videos, we’re only human, we don’t always get it right first time but if it takes more than ten minutes we just move on to something else. One video we’ve not made yet that we’d like to is to do something with Ronaldinho, who seems to do a lot of work out here in Dubai so hopefully that can happen.”

Barcelona FC striker Luis Suarez actively participated in the campaign by starring in a public awareness advert, which was premiered at the launch event.

For more information visit Kickcancer.ae

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Xavi to stay with Qatari club Al Sadd for two more seasons in undefined role

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Xavi is wrapping up his career as a player in the Middle East.

Xavi will remain in Qatar for now, with Al Sadd announcing that the star footballer will stay with the club for the next two seasons, although his role may change.

The former Barcelona legend is finishing his stellar career in the Middle East and has reached a preliminary agreement with Al Sadd to continue for two more seasons, according to the club’s general manager, Turki Al Ali.

Xavi can still hoist silverware by winning the Asian Champions League, in which Al Sadd are leaders in the group stage, joint-leaders with Persepolis after the first four games.

However, as indicated by the club’s announcement on Twitter, Xavi may transition into a coaching a role, whether that be as an assistant or replacement of Jesualdo Ferreira.

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