When Sebastian Vettel & Daniel Ricciardo Joined NBA Star Dirk Nowitzki for Michael Schumacher Tributary Football Match

Published 04/10/2021, 7:21 AM EDT


Back in 2016, some of the world’s top athletes joined hands to take part in a soccer match in tribute to F1 legend, Michael Schumacher. The likes of Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, and NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki all took part. With an all-star lineup like this, the match was aptly called ‘Champions for charity’.

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The game took place at the soccer club, FSV Mainz’s Coface-Arena on July 27. It was right before the 2016 German GP in Hockenheim.

Sebastian Vettel captained Nazionale Piloti, a team consisting of F1 drivers. This team had Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg, and Nico Rosberg, among others, in the lineup. Another future racer taking part that day was the then-17-year-old Mick Schumacher. Fittingly, he was part of the F1 drivers’ team.

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And in the opposition was Dirk Nowitzki’s all-star team, comprising sporting champions from different fields. Football players like Lukas Podolski, Serge Gnabry, and Miroslav Klose were part of his squad.

All the ticket proceeds from this game went to a couple of German charities of the Schumacher family’s choosing.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 6: Michael Schumacher of Germany and Ferrari during the drivers parade prior to the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 6, 2005 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

“Over many years Michael has been both an initiator and integral part of charity soccer matches, often playing with the Nazionale Piloti but also in other teams and sometimes playing together with Dirk Nowitzki. Both of them clicked immediately, so this combination fits very well… We hope they will have a lot of fun that evening,” said Schumacher’s manager, Sabine Kehm.

Watch Story- Inside Michael Schumacher’s car collection

How did the Michael Schumacher charity match play out?

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The match was a lot of fun as there were goals galore and celebrations aplenty. Both the teams combined to score 15 goals that evening in Mainz. Dirk Nowitzki was at the heart of the action as he provided a bunch of playful highlights with his antics.

The Dallas Mavericks superstar took a dubious penalty, mimicking Simone Zaza’s failed attempt at the 2016 Euros. He also attempted a failed bicycle kick, though, later scored in the evening.

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Overall, the charity event was a mighty success as the fans turned out in huge numbers to watch some of the greatest athletes of all time. It was a perfect homage to the legacy of Michael Schumacher.

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Bharat Aggarwal

757 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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