Idris Elba teams up with Arsene Wenger to manage Soccer Aid team

This will be the first time the actor will play the role of a football manager
Idris Elba teams up with Arsene Wenger to manage Soccer Aid team

Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter

Idris Elba will bring a touch of Hollywood stardom to the upcoming Soccer Aid charity match as he makes his debut co-managing the World XI team taking on England.

The Luther star, 49, will join forces with former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to co-ordinate the squad, which athlete Usain Bolt will captain.

He will be managing the likes of Martin Compston, Mo Gilligan, Chelcee Grimes, Kem Cetinay, Noah Beck, Steven Bartlett, Munya Chawawa, Carli Lloyd, Patrice Evra and Robbie Keane.

Elba said: “Now during my career, I’ve played good guys, bad guys and even superheroes but never have I played a football manager.

“You know what? I’m about to. This time it’s not for a movie. It’s for a real game and for an amazing cause.”

The actor said he is “really thankful to get this opportunity” as he encouraged people to buy tickets for the match on Sunday June 12.

Former One Direction star Liam Payne, 28, will captain the England side, which will be managed by former West Ham and Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp and feature last year’s star player Tom Grennan as well as Chunkz, Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, Fara Williams, Joe Cole, Alex Brooker and David Seaman.

Maya Jama and Alex Scott will again present the charity match, which will take place at the London Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, with Dermot O’Leary hosting a live show.

Soccer Aid, labelled the world’s biggest celebrity football match, is returning to raise money for the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).

Since its creation in 2006, Soccer Aid has raised more than £60 million for the humanitarian organisation, which helps to provide aid to children worldwide.

Soccer Aid For Unicef 2022 takes place on June 12 at The London Stadium, with tickets at socceraid.org.uk/tickets

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