Indian football captain Baichung Bhutia did another first for a footballer from our country when he was invited and participated in the IWC Laureus Football Challenge match on Monday in Abu Dhabi as part of the Laureus World Sports Awards.
The 7-A-Side charity match was played between the Emirates Foundation Team coached by Sir Bobby Charlton against the Laureus Team coached by Bora Milutinovic, which the the Emirates Foundation Team won 12-11 in extra time and the match raised more then 500.000 Euros.
Baichung Bhutia played alongside greats such as Vitor Baia, Edgar Davids, Ronald De Boer and Steve McManaman for Sir Bobby Charlton and he would go on to score one of his teams goals to make it even more memorable.
"It feels great to be a part of such an event although I have done such charity appearances even earlier but it is always special. It is great that I scored but in such an event where the aim is to raise funds for a good cause, it does not really matter whether you score or not... just being a part of it is a big thing," Baichung told PTI after the game.
Meanwhile the Laureus World Sports Awards 2011 were held at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi on Monday evening with sporting stars from around the world coming to the 'Oscars of Sports' as the event is also often referred to.
The Laureus World Sports Awards are awarded annually to sportspeople who have been outstanding during the previous year. The Laureus World Sports Awards were established in 1999 by Founding Patrons Daimler and Richemont and is supported by its Global Partners Mercedes-Benz, IWC Schaffhausen and Vodafone. The Laureus Academy is a 46 member body made up of former sporting greats who have won 59 Olympic gold medals in total. And the Laureus Foundation supports 83 sports related social projects around the world. Since 2000 more then 40 Million Euros have come together in support of these and other projects.
This years winners were
Sportsman of the Year: Rafael Nadal (Tennis, Spain)
Sportswoman of the Year: Lindsey Vonn (Alpine Skiing, USA)
Team of the Year: Spain (Football)
Breakthrough of the Year: Martin Kaymer (Golf, Germany)
Comeback of the Year: Valentino Rossi (MotoGP, Italy)
Sportsperson with a Disability of the Year: Verena Bentele (Paralympic biathlete and cross-country skier, Germany)
Action Sportsperson of the Year: Kelly Slater (Surfing, USA)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Zinedine Zidane (Football, France)
Spirit of Sport Award: Europe Ryder Cup Team (Golf)
Sport for Good Award: May El-Khalil (Founder of Beirut Marathon, Lebanon)