There were stars both on and off the field as The Beautiful Game by R10 and RC3 kicked off on Saturday, June 18 at DRV PNK Stadium. The first edition of the Brazilian legends’ celebrity match featured household names from futbol, basketball, the NFL, and the entertainment industry. The match gave South Florida futbol fans the opportunity to see their favorite superstars play, and also gave players of younger generations the chance to play alongside their idols.
Luis Nani, former Manchester United and Portugal forward, spoke fondly of The Beautiful Game, saying, “I’m enjoying this wonderful opportunity that these fútbol legends have given me. It’s been a great honor to be here and share the pitch with them. So, for that reason, at this moment, I am only thinking about what is happening right now because it’s a special moment and definitely one that I am enjoying.”
One of those idols, and captain of one of the teams, Roberto Carlos reciprocated the feeling, saying, “For me, to play with them was the best. To be able to reunite the friends, players you always see on the TV, to be able to bring them here - which was difficult with every player having their own schedule, some on vacations, others thinking about their contracts. We've been asking for them to join us for a while and we’ve been able to get the majority. It’s been great. A full stadium to see these players like Ronaldinho, Mariano, Vinicius [Jr.], [Eder] Militao, and more. That’s very worth it.”
Both teams took off to an impressive start, with the scoring opening in the seventh minute as Ronaldinho received a sharp pass from Paulo Dybala and scored to put Team Ronaldinho up 1-0 in the seventh minute. Team Roberto Carlos quickly responded two minutes later, as Radamel Falcao scored a cheeky chipped goal off a pass from Luis Nani, resulting in a 1-1 scoreline.
With this much firepower in both lineups, the goals quickly came pouring in.
The crowd at DRV PNK Stadium witnessed several legends, past and present, combine forces to produce moments of magic; Rivaldo and his fellow countryman Cafu played a 1-2 passing sequence in tandem that ended in Rivaldo putting Team Roberto Carlos up 3-2. The drama wouldn’t stop there, as Team Ronaldinho responded within minutes as Vinicius Jr stormed the opposing defense to set up Diogo Snow for an easy finish past Sebastien Frey.
The action also saw Rene Higuita making a heroic goalline save, Ryan Babel chasing down a beautiful through ball from Paul Pogba to score for Team Ronaldinho, NBA legend Steve Nash scoring off of a tremendous run into the box to score for Team Roberto Carlos, former NFL superstar Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson scoring a brace, and eleven-year-old Ariana Dos Santos assisting a goal for Brazil and AC Milan legend Cafu.
The match ended with a 12-10 scoreline, resulting in a victory for Team Roberto Carlos, in the first edition of The Beautiful Game by R10 and RC3.