French-born soccer legend and United Nations goodwill ambassador Zinedine Zidane arrives in Mali today on a two-day visit, during which he is expected to attend charity ceremonies and sporting events.
Invited by the Bamako office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the 1998 World Champion with France will join a team of experts to evaluate the achievements of the institution in the West African nation and inaugurate new projects, according to reports.
Zidane will also attend a football match and a cultural dance parade at the Bamako stadium before wrapping up his tour with a visit to the Head of State Amadou Toumani Toure.
The 1998 Ballon d’Or winner paid a similar visit to Niger in 2007, where he inspected projects implemented by UNDP to fight against poverty.
Mali also hosted the first edition of SIDA FOOT last June, meant to alert locals of the dangers of HIV/Aids through football, which was topped off with a gala match organised by Senegal former international Khalilou Fadiga with the participation of Frédéric Kanouté, Seydou Keita, Samba Sow, Modibo Maiga, Gervinho, Rigobert Song, El Hadji Diouf, Alain Traoré, Patrick M’Boma and Nwanko Kanu.