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Carles Puyol to donate charity cheque to ICRC

Published: Tuesday 8 March 2011, 11.00CET
Carles Puyol will collect a €100,000 cheque from UEFA before the FC Barcelona-Arsenal FC match which he will then donate to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Carles Puyol to donate charity cheque to ICRC

UEFA will tonight present a cheque for €100,000 to FC Barcelona and Spain defender Carles Puyol, who amassed more than 230,000 votes to be named captain of the users' Team of the Year 2010. Puyol will donate the cheque to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

William Gaillard, adviser to UEFA president Michel Platini, will hand over the cheque to the Barcelona centre-back and skipper before tonight's UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg between the Spanish club and Arsenal FC at the Camp Nou.

For the fourth time, this money will be going from the hands of the users' Team of the Year captain to one of UEFA's long-standing partners, the Red Cross. The donation will aid the ICRC's physical rehabilitation programme for land-mine victims in Afghanistan.

UEFA began its partnership with the Red Cross in 1997, with a particular emphasis on the ICRC anti land-mine campaign. All monies donated go to the Score for the Red Cross campaign in support of the ICRC rehabilitation project for land-mine victims in Afghanistan – providing victims with artificial limbs, physiotherapy and vocational training.

The ICRC's limb-fitting and rehabilitation programme has helped over 90,000 mine victims and other disabled people since it was established in 1988.

Ahead of donating his UEFA award money to the Red Cross, Puyol, 32, said: "I am greatly honoured to be voted the users' Team of the Year 2010 captain. I realise how privileged I am not just to play football but simply to have my health and two good legs. I am happy to make this contribution to do something to help people less fortunate than me and hope it can go some way to improving their quality of life."

Helen Alderson, head of financial resources and logistics at the ICRC, said: "We are very grateful for this generous donation, which will help us maintain and develop the services we provide for mine victims and other disabled people in Afghanistan. Carles Puyol is not only helping us financially but also giving us his moral support, which is important because he has many fans in Afghanistan."

The users' Team of the Year 2010 was: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid CF); Maicon (FC Internazionale Milano), Gerard Piqué (FC Barcelona), Carles Puyol (FC Barcelona), Ashley Cole (Chelsea FC); Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF), Xavi Hernández (FC Barcelona), Wesley Sneijder (FC Internazionale Milano), Andrés Iniesta (FC Barcelona); Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), David Villa (FC Barcelona). Coach: José Mourinho (Real Madrid CF).

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