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Soccer-Guest star Schumacher drives benefit match
( 2003-07-03 09:18) (Reuters)

World Formula One champion Michael Schumacher switched from motor racing to soccer on Wednesday but kept his winning ways alongside some of the world's top players in a benefit match organised by Luis Figo.

Paired in midfield with Figo's Real Madrid team mate Zinedine Zidane, Schumacher drew cheers as he had a hand in two goals scored by a UNICEF side and two by the Luis Figo Foundation in a game drawn 5-5.

Schumacher hit the bar with a right-footed shot from the edge of the penalty area in the 33rd minute and beat Figo's goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, but team mate Sergio Conceicao headed the ball in for UNICEF's first goal.

Frenchman Robert Pires picked up a back pass from Schumacher just before halftime to flick the ball to Zidane who then beat his marker and former Real Madrid team mate Fernando Hierro to blast the ball home.

The German racing driver changed sides in the second half and showed he knew his way around a football field by setting up Portuguese international striker Pauleta for two goals with a pair of well taken forward passes.

But while Schumacher was the crowd's favourite at Boavista's Bessa stadium, one of ten being built or rebuilt in Portugal to host Euro 2004, Brazilian striker Ronaldo scored the most spectacular goal of the night for Figo's all-star side.

In a move that would have graced any competitive game, despite the leisurely pace on the night, Ronaldo received a short-range pass from Raul and flicked the ball up with his right foot before controlling it on his chest to beat markers Michel Salgado and Jorge Andrade.

The World Cup winner then unleashed a lethal shot to beat Portuguese international goalkeeper Ricardo Pereira.

Spanish referee Arturo Dauden did not show a single yellow card in a good-humoured game which ironically paired Vicente del Bosque and Carlos Queiroz as trainers for the UNICEF side.

The match was organised before Queiroz unseated del Bosque last week as Real Madrid trainer, and had Alex Ferguson down as Figo's coach, although the Manchester United manager did not show up.

Portugal trainer Luiz Filipe Scolari was left in charge of the Figo side, and did not miss a chance to experiment and for the first time play Figo alongside veteran team mate Rui Costa and new boy Deco Souza in midfield.

Proceeds from the game will go to the United Nations children's agency UNICEF and the Luis Figo Foundation, which aims to help disadvantaged children by giving them opportunities to play sport. 

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