PFA announce 'Match of the Century' for centenary

September 26, 2007

The Professional Footballers Association have announced plans to host a game featuring a host of international and English legends at Eastlands Stadium on December 2.

The game, dubbed `Match of the Century', is part of the PFA's centenary celebrations and will pit a team of international stars, led by former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, against a side of domestic legends coached by Steve McClaren's assistant Terry Venables.

The teams are set to be captained by two of the most highly-rated players in Premier League history - Alan Shearer and Gianfranco Zola.

Other played slated to appear in the match include Teddy Sheringham, Roy Keane, David Ginola, Marcel Desailly, Ian Rush, Peter Beardsley, Chris Waddle and Niall Quinn.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said: 'It promises to be a fantastic occasion with so many footballing legends on show and I am absolutely thrilled that current Manchester City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson has agreed to manage the Rest of the World XI whilst another former England boss, Terry Venables, has said he would love to manage the England legends.'

He added: 'Gianfranco Zola was not only a living legend who played the game in a magical way, but a brilliant role model to all and a perfect gentleman to boot. I'm sure his many fans will be delighted to see him back in action again.

'The same, of course, applies to Alan Shearer whose goalscoring record at club and international level alike was nothing short of phenomenal.'

Taylor also hinted at the appearance of some stars of more recent vintage - but could not commit to an appearance by another former England captain, Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham.

'I'm also hoping against hope that there will be one or two more surprises in store as international icons David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane have also expressed an interest in appearing, but both may have other commitments so I'm not going to say for definite they will be there.'

Proceeds from the match will go towards the PFA's £1million goal of fully funding a new children's rehabilitation and physiotherapy unit at the University Children's Hospital in Manchester.