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Why is Ben Foster playing for World XI at Soccer Aid 2023?

Why is Ben Foster playing for World XI at Soccer Aid 2023?

Soccer Aid 2023 kicks off on Sunday 11 June at Old Trafford, with the charity game pitting ex-professionals up against former sports stars and celebrities. 

As usual, it’s England versus a Soccer Aid World XI – with ex-professional footballers joined by celebrities from the worlds of music, TV and beyond. Sports stars, such as Usain Bolt and Sir Mo Farah, are also set to play in the game.

Some England-born stars, like Lee Mack and Mo Gilligan, will turn out for the World XI, though the former has Irish heritage while the latter was born to parents of Jamaican and St. Lucian descent. 

One person playing for World XI that has left people scratching their heads, though, is Ben Foster, who played eight times for England during his international career, with the goalkeeper even making an appearance at World Cup 2014.

Born in Leamington Spa to two English parents, the 40-year-old actually only qualifies to play for England. So why is Ben Foster playing for the World XI at Soccer Aid 2023?

Quite simply, Foster just wanted to be involved in the game. With England having already selected David James as their goalkeeper, Foster accepted playing for World XI so long as he appeared at Old Trafford – the ground he called home for five years during his time at Manchester United.

Indeed, a spokesperson for Foster claimed he was originally going to coach the World XI goalkeepers, but the situation changed and he will now take his place on the pitch. 

Speaking about his decision to play back in March, he told LiveScore: “We’re really, really excited for it. I think I’ll find it fairly easy because it’s kind of both of my worlds mixing together in a way.

“Having played football for the best part of 20 years, I’ve jumped into this new sort of YouTube world.

“I’ve already done a lot of videos where we’re sort of playing with YouTubers. Now we understand that world, it should be fairly easy for me!”

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