MANILA, Philippines — The chance to help develop Philippine football encouraged legends of the sport Fabio Cannavaro and Dennis Wise to travel all the way to the country for an exhibition game.
Cannavaro and Wise, who are in the Philippines for the 2nd Clear Dream Match set on Saturday, couldn’t resist the chance to be part of the development of the sport, which Younghusband brothers Phil and James is spearheading.
Wise, speaking at a press conference Thursday at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel, couldn’t help but admire what the Younghusbands have done so far to promote the sport here.
“What they’ve done to football here is fantastic. They’re trying improve game in the Philippines and trying to make people stand up and say ‘look at Philippine football,'” said Wise.
“Now they’re starting to progress even more. I’m glad that I can come over and be involved. I’m glad to be part of something these guys could achieve,” he added.
One of the most noted football projects of Phil and James, both national team mainstays, is the Younghusband Football Academy.
“These two guys have a vision for football and that’s something they want to achieve. And by coming over we can help that situation slightly. That’s the reason why we came here,” the eloquent Wise also said.
Wise, a revered member of the Chelsea football club, will team up with of Team Phil on Saturday at the match at the University of Makati football field.
Cannavaro, who skippered the 2006 World Cup champion Italy and hailed as one of the best defenders which earned him the tag “The Berlin Wall,” also relished the chance to share his experience on the pitch.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to share our experience to them. We want to try to improve football here,” said the soft-spoken Italian. “It’s a good project. It’s very nice.”
Team James, meanwhile, will have the honor of having Cannavaro on the pitch with them as they try to avenge last year’s loss to team Phil.
The tickets for the Grandstand and VIP sections at UMak for the Clear Dream Match, scheduled at 7:30 p.m., are available via SM Tickets.
Brand manager Drew Copuyoc said half of the proceeds will go to relief operations for victims of tropical storm “Maring” while the other half to the Tuloy sa Don Bosco Foundation.