May 24 2006
Scolari, Maniche and Madaíl become FIFA/SOS ambassadors
19/05/2006 - SOS Children's Villages Portugal has added three new FIFA/SOS ambassadors to its already impressive list. Coach Luiz Filipe Scolari, midfielder Maniche and Football Federation President Gilberto Madaíl pledged to use their influence in football to help children in Portugal and around the world.
Portugal's national football team is on the rise, having scored the most goals of any team in the qualifying rounds for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™. The team's partnership with SOS Children's Villages and the 6 villages for 2006 campaign is also on the rise, as three members of their national squad, including their coach, share the distinction as "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" ambassadors.
In addition, Dr. Gilbert Madaíl, the President of the Portuguese Football Federation, is also serving in this honorary role. Portuguese International Pauleta received this distinction in November 2005.
Felipe Scolari, Portuguese national team coach since 2003 and former coach of Brazil's 2002 FIFA World Cup™ wining team, brings an extremely impressive resume to his role as FIFA/SOS ambassador. Scolari led the Portuguese national squad during its run to the finals of the 2004 European Football Championship.
Scolari said: "I am happy for the distinction of becoming a FIFA/SOS ambassador. It shows that football is important not only to Portugal and to the rest of the world, but also for children."
Dr. Madaíl made a donation to SOS Children's Villages on behalf of the Portuguese Football Federation, and said he felt very privileged to be "one of the few football executives in the world" to be honoured as FIFA/SOS ambassador. Madaíl added: "It is natural that we are partners," and recalled the ties forged between world football's governing body and SOS Children's Villages by former FIFA president João Havelange.
Scolari, Maniche and Dr. Madaíl were awarded their FIFA/SOS ambassador certificate at a very special ceremony held in the children's village in Bicesse. When Maniche arrived in his sports car, the children surrounded it and were delighted to meet the Chelsea midfielder.
Maniche spent the afternoon signing autographs and having fun with the children. He promised them that he would be a dedicated FIFA/SOS ambassador, saying, "I will be available to SOS Children's Villages in whatever way they need me, that is my goal. I will work to help these children and this worthwhile campaign in one form or another."