Former Brazilian World Cup winning captain Cafu will join a host of past National Team standouts from the 2006 World Cup squad for an exhibition match at Soogrim Trace Recreation Ground in Laventille from 6pm on Monday.
Through an initiative led by Tony Lee and I95.5FM in conjunction with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, the event has been organised to demonstrate the possibilities of achievement through sport. It is hoped that by allowing the youngsters of the Laventille community to mix and play the game with some of these legends will empower them to follow in similar paths and take lifelong memories forward with them. Laventille has a representative team, Miscellaneous Laventille United that will campaign in the Northern Football Association Premier Division this year.
It is the tenth event in a series which began following the murders of two students some years ago and there have been several parts in a series entitled “Laventille Nights” which has seen appearances made by Olympic sprint medallist Ato Boldon, former national football captain and coach Russell Latapy and others.
Cafu, on his second visit to T&T after being here in 2007, will take the field alongside former Portugal international and Athletico Madrid midfielder Maniche as FIFA legends, teaming up with former Jamaican internationals Ian Goodison, Gregory Messam, Ricardo Gardner and ex-Grenada player Jason Roberts. Former T&T internationals, current head coach Dennis Lawrence, Brent Sancho, Cyd Gray, Russell Latapy, Stern John, Carlos Edwards, Dale Saunders and others will put on their boots for the exhibition match against a Laventille representative team.
Cafu has collection of medals from three different FIFA World Cup™ Finals – 1994, 1998 and 2002 – which is the envy of every other player who has participated in football’s greatest tournament.
He marked the occasion of winning the 2002 World Cup by climbing aloft a precarious looking plinth and paying homage to two of the great loves of his life. Printed on his shirt was a tribute to his Sao Paulo neighbourhood of Jardim Irene, while his wife was acknowledged with a cry of “Regina, eu te amo” (Regina, I love you), as he hoisted the Trophy for a second time.
“When I wrote ‘100% Jardim Irene’ on my shirt, and paid tribute to Regina, I hadn’t planned it. I had no idea all this would happen. Regina has been with me for over 30 years and I think it was fair that I paid tribute to her in that moment for everything we’d been through together. As for Jardim Irene, that’s the neighbourhood where I was born, grew up and now have my foundation. I wanted to show them that someone coming from a humble neighbourhood, with no prospects at all, could still become a great athlete and a good person,” Cafu stated.