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Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane prepare for Match against Poverty in Porto Alegre

Josh Pedley

Walking around the lobby of the Sheraton hotel in Porto Alegre on Wednesday afternoon was an like being given a guide to the great and good of Brazilian football past and present.

As fans gathered outside to catch a glimpse of Santos superstar Neymar, it was inside the hotel where the media and supporters rubbed shoulders with the likes of Paulinho, Emerson, Lucas Moura, Dida, Roberto Carlos and many, many more.

However, at 4pm the action moved up to the fourth floor where Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo, two of the greatest footballers the world has ever seen, held court over Wednesday evening's Match against Poverty to be held at the new Gremio Arena.

"It is a pleasure to be in Brazil. I'm very lucky to have been chosen by Ronaldo for this project," French legend Zinedine Zidane told reporters at the press conference.

"It's great to do something for people. Inequality is a problem in all countries. We need to show how important the cause is. I am very proud to play."

And Ronaldo, who cut a more svelte figure than in recent months, was also in good spirits ahead of the game.

"Zidane's team is strong, but mine too. I think I'll win. After all, I'm playing at home with all the fans.

"Just wanted to say to Zidane that, although he has been our executioner in 1998 [World Cup final in France] and 2006 [World Cup in Germany], the Brazilian people love him so much."

 
 

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