Jamaican sprinting legend Usain Bolt will once again captain World XI FC, formerly known as Rest of the World, as Britain’s annual charity football match, Soccer Aid, returns for its 2023 staging.
Soccer Aid was launched in 2006 to aid the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Since its inception, Soccer Aid has raised over £75 million for UNICEF through ticket sales and donations from the public.
The charity event pits the World XI squad against England. Both teams are comprised of celebrities and former professional players.
This will be Bolt’s fifth appearance in the friendly-style football match, and the eight-time Olympic gold medalist happily announced his return to the pitch on Tuesday. The retired sprinter and football enthusiast shared a promotional video for the event, which will be staged on June 11 at the home of Manchester United FC, Old Trafford stadium.
World XI, the event’s reigning champions, have consistently taken home the Soccer Aid trophy over the last few years. The team’s complete line-up has not yet been revealed, but Irish professional football coach Robbie Keane will be managing the squad while Bolt serves as its captain. British businessman Steven Bartlett, comedian Lee Mack, and TV personality and presenter Kem Cetinay will also be joining World XI.
England has not secured a win since 2018.
For the first time in Soccer Aid history, the English team will be captained by a woman, with retired footballer Jill Scott captaining England in the charity football match. Soccer Aid raised over £15 million at last year’s event at the London Stadium.
Bolt, an avid football fan, ventured into the sport after retiring from track and field in 2017. The Olympic champion trained with clubs in South Africa, Norway, and Germany before playing in Australia with the Central Coast Mariners.
Watch highlights from Soccer Aid 2022 below.