Arsene Wenger made a brief return to management yesterday when he managed a Premiership Legends team against African Masters in a charity match organised by Petrolex and Kanu Heart Foundation.
Tagged the Kanu Cup, the former Arsenal boss took charge of a team comprising Premier League legends - predominantly former Gunners stars - for the special charity match organised to help raise money for live-saving treatments for children and adults across Africa.
Former Arsenal striker, Nwankwo Kanu set up his own foundation with the match at Barnet’s Hive Stadium.
Among those in the star-studded match were Robert Pires, Sol Campbell, Michael Essien, Louis Saha, William Gallas and Kolo Toure.
Aiming to raise money to build a new Cardiac Centre in Abuja, Nigeria, and reduce costly travel and accommodation fees for sick children and their families, the match also sought to improve awareness of heart diseases in Africa through education and vital research.
Kanu said: “Since retiring from football, the Kanu Heart Foundation has been my biggest passion.
It is amazing to be in a position to have helped over 500 children within and outside Nigeria gain access to vital heart operations, having suffered from heart conditions myself – but I want to do more.
“The Petrolex Kanu Cup in association with Masters Football TM is an opportunity to bring people together to see some amazing players – and my great friends – play the beautiful game once more, whilst also raising money for a good cause.”
Kanu captained the African Masters, while Steve McManaman led the Premier League Legends, who took the lead a minute after kick off through David Thompson. Further goals by William Gallas, Roberto Pires, Kanu (who switched over to Premier League Legends), Omer Riza and Louis Saha gave the Premier League side a 9-4 victory over the African Masters, whose goals came from Romana Lualua, Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Michael Essien.