Zidane and Cantona to play in Monaco soccer show

What: Columbus Beach Soccer Show
Who: Christophe Maé (Friday), Zinédine Zidane and friends (Saturday)
Where: Espace de Fontvieille (Big Top)
When: Friday 10 and Saturday 11 December 2010
Web: www.beachsoccermonaco.com

One of the longest-running personal feuds in the history of the beautiful game was laid to rest in Milan last month, when Zinédine Zidane and Marco Materazzi agreed to put the past behind them concerning the infamous headbutting incident in the final of the 2006 World Cup. According to news reports, all is now sweetness and light between the two players, who agreed to bury the hatchet when they met at the AC Milan-Real Madrid fixture.

Now, if you’re in Monaco in the second week of December, you’ll be able to witness the former French captain in action once again – though in more peaceable circumstances. For anyone concerned about history repeating itself, don’t worry – it promises to be a tamer affair altogether, not least because it’s being played in the name of a very good cause, a charity to raise much-needed money for sick children.

As far as we know, Materazzi will not be there, but with the two players’ new-found friendship, who knows what may happen?

In 2006 Pascal Olmeta, former goalkeeper for both Lyon and Marseille, set up a charity whose aim is to improve the physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing of sick children and their families. ‘A Smile, a Hope for Life‘ provides grants to hospitals and other organizations to enhance the lives of children in a difficult situation, and to help them realize their dreams and ambitions.

The charity’s most successful initiative during the last five years has been an annual Beach Soccer Show, supported by international football stars and other celebrities, designed to raise money for this extremely worthwhile association. This year is no exception: as well as Zidane, Eric Cantona, Marco Simoneand Bernard Laporte will also be participating in the forthcoming match, which for 2010 is being sponsored by Monaco’s Columbus Hotel.

The friendly match takes place on a specially-created sand arena in the Big Top of Fontvieille on 11 December.

christophemaeThe previous evening will see a special concert – in aid of ‘A Smile, a Hope for Life’ and Princess Stephanie’s Fight Aids Trust – by R&B artiste Shy’m, and pop singer Christophe Maé, (World Music Awards 2008,  best French artist; NRJ Music Awards 2009, best French song)