Algerian soccer great Rabah Madjer to become UN Goodwill Ambassador

10 October 2011

Retired Algerian soccer striker Mustapha Rabah Madjer, who played in two World Cups and starred on the Portuguese club team FC Porto in the 1980s, is to become a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador in recognition of his work with young people and promotion of sports values.

UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Irina Bokova will designate Mr. Madjer as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for a two-year term at a ceremony at its Paris headquarters on Wednesday.

“As one of Africa’s most celebrated football players and as a well-known sports broadcaster, Rabah Madjer will place his fame at the service of UNESCO, building tolerance and mutual understanding through sports,” the agency said in a news release today.

Born in 1958, he took up coaching immediately after retiring and managed several clubs as well as Algeria’s National team. He has won the Ballon d’or Africain award and is also a television commentator on Al-Jazeera Sports network.

“UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassadors are an outstanding group of personalities who use their talent and status to focus the world's attention on the objectives and aims of UNESCO, creating visibility for its work in education, culture, science, communication and information,” the agency said.

Many UN agencies appoint prominent figures from the worlds of the arts and sports as Goodwill Ambassadors to advance their causes. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) appointed Novak Djokovic, the world’s top tennis player, as a Goodwill Ambassador in August, and soccer stars Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane have been organizing charity games as Goodwill Ambassadors of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) since 2003.

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