Nineteen stars of yesteryear - headlined by Chelsea legend Didier Drogba - have been confirmed for May’s Football For Fires fundraiser at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.
Just over a year after calling time on a trophy-encrusted 20-year career, the former Ivory Coast international will join the likes of ex-Socceroos John Aloisi and Mark Bosnich,
Frenchman David Trezeguet, Italian Claudio Marchisio and Croat Dario Simic in the charity fixture.
Now 41, Drogba sealed his place at football’s top table across two spells at Chelsea, scoring 164 goals in 381 games and winning four Premier Leagues plus the 2012 Champions League.
The flamboyant striker spent the last 18 months of his career with US side Phoenix Rising, the club he co-owns, before being tempted out of retirement to help those affected by Australia’s catastrophic fires.
Aloisi’s last appearance at the venue saw him blast home the spot-kick which took Australia to the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
The May 23 extravaganza will be the last at the stadium before it undergoes extensive renovations - and match agent Lou Sticca will be looking for a bumper audience to swell the coffers for those affected by the blazes.
As revealed by The World Game last week, Aston Villa and Manchester United great Dwight Yorke will return to the city he once graced with Sydney FC as part of Sticca’s travelling troupe, with another former Red Devil, Ji-Sung Park, also recruited for the clash along with former Ghana international Stephen Appiah and ex-Socceroos skipper Mark Milligan.
One-time England striker Emile Heskey, who played for Newcastle Jets at the back end of his career, will also return to Australia to do his bit for the cause.
Football for Fires team
Didier Drogba, David Trezeguet, Dwight Yorke, Claudio Marchisio, Dario Simic, John Aloisi, Dwayne De Rosario, Ji-Sung Park, Simon Colosimo, Tore Andre Flo, Alecko Eskandarian, Mark Bosnich, Con Boutsianis, Pedro Mendes, Le Cong Vinh, Emile Heskey, Michael Bridges, Geremi, Stephen Appiah, Rustu Recber, Mark Milligan