We bump into New Zealand’s best ever footballer — 1982 World Cup legend Winton Rufer and ask him about the Spirit of Football. His response:
“Well, we saw a little bit of it today in Windhoek, Namibia with the game Global United against African Allstars. It’s a celebration of the world’s game. The people turn out. Lots of colour. Lots of action. Having a really good time. Lots of goals as well. It can’t be better.”
“How will New Zealand do at the World Cup?” asks fellow Kiwi Andrew.
“New Zealand will get through, and lose the semi-final to Brazil”, replies the now grey-haired and still thick-accented Winton, with a grin.
Wouldn’t that be fab, thinks Andrew as Winton generously provides him with ten autograph cards.
“Here we have my personal signed signature cards for my Kiwi mate Andrew. So that when he goes to South Africa, he can give a few more away to show that we were legitimately together in Windhoek, Namibia.”
Overcome by Winton’s foresight and generosity, Andrew is left speechless.
We stop by Independence Stadum in Windhoek for a game of football with a difference. Winton Rufer, from as far away as New Zealand, has travelled over 24 hours to arrive in time for kick-off. Other former stars, like 2002 World Cup Finalist Jens Novotny, have jetted in from Germany. Former Danish National Team player and regular at Bolton Wanderers, Stig Tofting, arrives from England. African legends have come in, thanks to Air Namibia, from all over Africa. Global FC have jetted in from all over the world to raise awareness for the very important global issue: climate change.
After the match, we have a chance to talk to German legend Mario Basler about the Spirit of Football.
“Football is a team game. Everybody can take part in this game. If you are rich if you are poor. It doesn’t matter, you can play football. On the beach. On the streets… everywhere. That is why football is sport number one in the world.”
“Yesterday, we went to a township with one ball. I asked the kids if they would like to play football with us. And there was no question for them to say yes and to play football with us. This is the spirit of football.”