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Published 15 January 2024 3 min read
Grassroots Football

FIFA Legends visit local training session in London

Written by:

Nicholas Veevers

Claude Makelele, Juan Pablo Ángel, Patrizia Pánico and Francesca Mannalova visit youngsters' session staged in the capital ahead of FIFA's The Best Awards

With the The Best FIFA Football Awards coming to London on Monday evening, local youngsters in the capital were treated to a visit from some of the FIFA Legends ahead of the showcase event.

The Bloomsbury Football organisation, which is a sport for change charity supported by the FIFA Foundation, held their usual training session and games at Coram’s Fields in central London on Sunday morning.

And those involved were greeted by the visit of former France and Chelsea star Claude Makelele, ex Aston Villa and Colombia striker Juan Pablo Ángel, Italy women’s legend Patrizia Pánico and Italy Futsal ace Francesca Mannalova.

The quartet were quick to get involved, joining in with training exercises, games and posing for photographs with the youngsters at the session.

Since being founded in 2018, Bloomsbury Football has used the power of football to improve young peoples’ lives, improving their mental and physical health whilst developing transferrable life skills.

Former Chelsea and France star Claude Makelele takes a selfie at the session on Sunday
Former Chelsea and France star Claude Makelele takes a selfie at the session on Sunday
Having supported over 5000 people since then, their sessions help to foster community cohesion by bringing young people from a range of backgrounds together on the pitch.

Whether it’s refugees, asylum seekers or local people, there’s provision for all boys and girls aged between 18 months and 18 years old, with Bloomsbury Football’s financial assistance model meaning that no family will be charged more than they can afford, and no child will be priced out of play.

The session came ahead of Monday’s awards, where England women’s head coach Sarina Wiegman is again nominated for The Best Women’s Coach and goalkeeper Mary Earps has a chance of retaining her title as The Best Women’s Goalkeeper.

On top of that, we have eight Lionesses (Mary Earps, Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood, Georgia Stanway, Ella Toone, Kiera Walsh, Lauren James and Alessia Russo) and four of the men’s senior squad (Jude Bellingham, John Stones, Kyle Walker and Harry Kane).nominated on the FIFPRO shortlist for the world’s XI as voted for by over 28,000 professional players.,

You can watch Monday's show in full on the FIFA+ channel, while our @Lionesses social media accounts will be at the event to bring any coverage or reaction.