Kids learn football from Wise, Cannavaro

Children braved rains to learn football from Fabio Cannavaro, Dennis Wise and the Younghusband brothers.

HIGH FIVE. Kids interact with stars Phil and James Younghusband. Photo by Rappler/Josh Albelda.

MANILA, Philippines — Even heavy rains could not stop kids from learning from the best.

A day before the second installment of the Clear Dream Match kicks off, global football icons Fabio Cannavaro and Dennis Wise made the most of their visit here in the Philippines by joining Phil and James Younghusband in a football clinic for kids Friday afternoon, August 23, at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig City.

About 50 aspiring footballers braved the rains and winds as they learned from no other than 2006 FIFA World Player of the Year Cannavaro and former Chelsea captain Dennis Wise who will spice up this year’s Clear Dream Match that pits the Younghusband siblings together with some of the biggest names in the local football scene.

“What these guys have done here in the Philippines is fantastic. They try to improve the sport in the Philippines and try to make most people love football,” the former England player Wise said about Phil and James’ efforts in a press conference earlier this week. “Maybe one day the Philippines will qualify for the World Cup. It’s a massive ambition but it’s starting here. I’m glad to be part of this.”

Other Azkals stalwarts such as Chris Greatwich and Ref Cuaresma were also present in the clinic, where players from Loyola Youth Team and students of Chelsea Football School – Philippines, among others participated.

Half of the proceeds of the Clear Dream Match will go to the Tuloy Sa Don Bosco Foundation while the other half will aid the relief of victims of the recent flooding in the country.

ALL SMILES. Cannavaro played barefoot with these kids. Photo by Rappler/Alexx Esponga.

Tuloy sa Don Bosco Foundation

Earlier in the day, the 4 also took time off their preparations for their much-awaited showdown to play futsal with children at the Tuloy sa Don Bosco Foundation in Alabang on Friday, August 23.

Just like last year, brothers Phil and James played with kids but this time, they brought football legends Wise and Cannavaro along with them.

And they all played barefoot.

“I am honored to be here,” said Wise. “I hope that the kids enjoyed a good game of football.”

‘Family’

Even though the friendly competition won’t happen until Saturday, August 24, Phil and James are already excited for next year and what’s more to come for football in the country. 

“We are here to create opportunities for football, to create opportunities in the Philippines,” James quipped. 

“We will always be here to support football and I know people will also do the same to us because we are a family,” Phil added. – Rappler.com