Celebrated Brazilian football star Ronaldinho will play in an exhibition match alongside Kenyan football legends against the 2009 local champions Sofapaka at KCB Sports Club, Ruaraka on Sunday.
Ronaldinho, who is the official Betika brand ambassador, will also be involved in the match courtesy of the gaming firm which also sponsors Sofapaka FC.
The Kenyan Legends team will be handled by former Harambee Stars coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee and will feature Mahmoud Abass, Dennis Oliech and 1987 Africa Cup Winners’ Cup winning captain Austin Oduor.
Other players include former Harambee Stars captain Musa Otieno, Kakamega Homeboyz striker Allan Wanga and former AFC Leopards and Stars goalkeeper Matthew Ottamax.
Ronaldinho, who won the FIFA World Cup with Brazil in 2002, will be in the country for a three-day visit to promote grassroots football.
Sofapaka captain Stephen Waruru is looking forward to sharing the pitch with the double FIFA World Player of The Year, who is regarded as one of the most skillful player to have ever played the game, lighting up European football for many years always with a smile on his face.
“The Brazilian has retired after an extraordinary career but his wonderful talent will be remembered for ever. And playing against him will change our history,” said Waruru.
The striker believes that playing against the 2005 Ballon d’Or winner will give him the feel and impression of playing in the World Cup despite the country never having qualified for the football fiesta.
“Watching Ronaldinho was fun, it made people happy and playing against him will be inspirational. His visit will inspire upcoming footballers and allow them to dream big,” said Waruru adding that his teammates are also excited at being accorded that rare opportunity thanks to Betika.
Sofapaka finished fifth in the 2018 Kenyan Premier League and reached the final of FKF Cup against Kariobangi Sharks.
The club founded in 2004 participated in the 2010 CAF Champions League and have also taken part in the CAF Confederation Cup three times.
Last year, Betika took over the official shirt sponsorship of ‘Batoto ba Mungu’ (Children of God) in a three-year sponsorship.
Betika is the only company with a local shareholding to be involved in a sponsorship of such magnitude.
Kenya Legends Team:
- Mathew Ottamax
- Josiah Ougo
- Tom Juma
- Simeone Mulama
- Ramadhan Balala
- Francis Oduor
- Titus Mulama
- Allan Wanga
- Maurice Sunguti
- Edward Karanja
- Dennis Oliech
- Victor Onyango
- Mahmoud Abbas
- Austin Oduor
- Musa Otieno
- Henry Motego
Henry Motego – Kisii
Ramadhan Balala – Kakamega
Allan Wanga – Kakamega
Coach – Jacob Ghost Mulee