Hamburg - A little bit of a show, seven goals and a plethora of big names all played their part in enchanting many a football fan and successfully raising money for disadvantaged young people in Hamburg on Sunday afternoon.
Hasan Salihamidzic, Sergej Barbarez, current Hamburger SV coach Thorsten Fink as well as other former Hamburg and FC St. Pauli stars made up Team Hamburg, who faced off against a Team Germany outfit that included seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher, Lothar Matthäus, Karl-Heinz Riedle, Michael Ballack and Jürgen Klopp.
"It's a great cause" beamed 36-year-old former Germany captain, and FC Bayern München and Bayer 04 Leverkusen star Michael Ballack. 25,000 fans at St. Pauli's Millerntor ground were entertained by a 4-3 victory for Team Hamburg, despite being 3-0 down after ten minutes.
Indeed, Team Germany, coached by Matthias Sammer could do nothing to avenge their 2-1 defeat the year before, but yy the end of a successful day's work, around €260,000 had been donated to.support Hamburg's disadvantaged youth. "It's an event which has developed real importance" said Schumacher, "I'm always really impressed".
Stuff of legends
Other legends also involved included former Hertha Berlin and 1899 Hoffenheim coach Markus Babbel, Dortmund legend Lars Ricken, FC Schalke 04 Sporting Director Horst Heldt, and former SV Werder Bremen and FC Bayern München midfielder Tim Borowski.