By AVI CREDITOR
For the seventh time, French legend Zinedine Zidane and Brazilian icon Ronaldo put together their annual star-studded exhibition/fundraiser, the Match Against Poverty, which took place Monday in front of more than 51,000 spectators at the Estadio da Luz (not to be confused with RBNY draft pick Austin da Luz) in Lisbon, Portugal.
This year's format pitted a team of Zidane All-Stars (including Zidane, Luis Figo, Thierry Henry, Kaka, Fabien Barthez, Pavel Nedved, Patrick Kluivert, Dani Alves, Rafael Marquez and Edgar Davids) against a team of Benfica legends (including Fabrizio Miccoli, Nuno Gomes and Rui Costa). No, Marco Materazzi did not participate.
All proceeds are being donated to the relief effort in Haiti. To make a donation, visit www.slbenfica.pt. Or text "HAITI" to 90999 and donate $10 through the American Red Cross.
Goals for the Zidane All-Stars were scored by Kaka, Robert Pires and Baichung Bhutia. Nuno Gomes (2) and Eder Luis tallied goals for Benfica in the 3-3 draw, where the score mattered about as much as the pattern of the pitch.
On to the highlights:
In other Monday evening news:
SEMIFINALS SET IN AFRICA
Extra-time goals from Mohamed Gedo and Ahmed Hassan propelled cup-holders Egypt past Cameroon, 3-1, and into the semifinals of the African Cup of Nations.
In the other quarterfinal, Nigeria outlasted upstart Zambia in penalties (5-4) after a scoreless 120 minutes, with Vincent Enyeama's score from the spot being the difference. Thomas Nyirenda had the only miss for Zambia.
Egypt and Algeria will face off in a heated semifinal (remember, Algeria kept Egypt out of the World Cup), and Nigeria and Ghana will square off for the other spot in the final. Both games will be played Thursday in Angola.
ROONEY PLANS TO STAY PUT
Manchester United may be in financial straits, but selling Wayne Rooney doesn't figure to be part of the solution.
Rooney, the English Premier League's leading scorer with 19 goals, said that he plans to remain at Old Trafford despite reported speculation that Barcelona and Real Madrid are interested in acquiring the services of the 24-year-old English international.
ROBINHO TO SANTOS?
Manchester City forward Robinho has grown unhappy at Eastlands and is reportedly close to joining Brazilian side Santos FC on a six-month loan. Robinho, who played for Santos before joining Real Madrid in 2005, scored for City in the team's 4-2 FA Cup victory over Scunthorpe over the weekend.
What did you think of the Match Against Poverty? Expect emotions to bubble over in the Egypt-Algeria ACN semifinal? Think Rooney is really staying put? Giddy at the possibility of Robinho playing for Santos at Red Bull Arena on March 20?
Share your thoughts below.