Lurdes Mutola: A lesson on sacrifice in the first person - Mozambique
The “Mambas” legends lost one-nil in a game criticised for the high prices of the tickets. The match’s only goal was scored by Simão Sabrosa.
The former players of the Mozambican national team, though maybe a little out of shape, showed that they still knew how to play football.
They came face to face with Barcelona Legends team on Saturday at the Zimpeto National Stadium in Maputo, in a unique football match.
But the simple friendly between veterans of the Mozambique national soccer team, the Mambas, and Barcelona, turned out to be the most expensive game ever in the history of Mozambican football.
The “cheaper” tickets in the sunshine cost the equivalent of nine Euros – too much for most Mozambican fans of the beautiful game. Normally, national games cost the equivalent of about three Euros.
The most expensive tickets, for the centre-shade bench, cost 90 Euros. But this was for the VIPs, who also got an auction dinner with entry costing almost 400 Euros. Boxes were around two thousand Euros.
Fans complained about the price of tickets.
Jordão Afonso, a Mozambican Barcelona fan, showed the ticket he bought for nine Euros. “It was not easy to get the ticket. I’m a peddler, so you can imagine what 600 meticais means to me,” he complained.
Others criticised the organisation for the astronomical entry prices, as it was a veteran’s game.
“When I watch the most decisive Mambas games, I usually pay 200 meticais for the ticket,” said Serodia Maculuve, another fan. “No-one has ever sold tickets at this price, not even on the black market,” she complained.
Not even former Mambas star António Muchanga Antoninho, who played in the game, spared his criticism. “The price was a deterrent for many football lovers,” he said.
There were also innovations for journalists covering the match, who were required to provide a passport photograph.
The old Mambas in action
Meagre numbers of people at the Zimpeto National Stadium saw former Barcelona players and Mambas, with beards and white hair, showing what they still know about the game.
On the Mozambican side, the highlights were Armando Sá, Tico-Tico, Sérgio Matsolo (Faife) and for Barcelona, Edgar Davids, Patrick Kluivert, Simão Sabrosa and Rivaldo.
It was a game of fair play and slow pace, physically wearing, but the old Mambas showed that he who knows, does not forget. But the only goal of the night went to Barcelona, from a free kick taken by Simão Sabrosa. We saw a Simão who remembered his times at Benfica, Atlético de Madrid and Barcelona.
Everyone in the stadium applauded, even if the result did not matter so much. The fans just wanted to appreciate a unique moment watching the old soccer stars. “We should be treated like that every year,” said Mario Castelo, a Mambas fan.
At the end of the game, Barcelona’s Edmilson said the match had been “A beautiful party – and congratulations to the players of both teams for the spectacle they provided to the public”.
Tico-Tico, who drew applause from the fans for being the best Mozambique national team goal scorer, said: “This initiative is good for inspiring youth because these are teams that are only seen on television.”
The best in the world and the only one in the game, Rivaldo, was at the head of this organisation and said he was “very happy to have come here. It was a good game and I hope this initiative does not stop here”.
At the end there was an exchange of gifts, awards and medals for all who participated in the initiative involving the Mozambican Football Federation, the Barcelona Foundation and entrepreneurs.Source: Deutsche Welle