Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas named UN Goodwill Ambassador

Spain’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper Iker Casillas on Monday was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) said. The UN said Casillas’ focus will be on promoting poverty reduction, education and health, and issues affecting young people in developing countries. “While my job on the pitch is to prevent goals, my job at UNDP will be to help score them,” Casillas said at his appointment in Geneva, Switzerland. “Bringing attention to the poor conditions people are enduring around the world is essential to motivate action on the world’s pledges to improve their lives.” The MDGs are a set of eight globally agreed targets that seek to halve world poverty by 2015 by combating hunger, disease, illiteracy, environment degradation and discrimination against women. Casillas has a history of help those in need including the organizing of events such as football charity matches and raising awareness of the needs of children living in poverty in Peru. “UNDP works with people and their governments around the world to end poverty with solutions that will last,” Casillas said. “Only with that kind of team approach can we win the battle against poverty, and I am proud to add my personal commitment to this work.” Casillas plays for the Spanish club Real Madrid and serves as captain for both the Spanish national team and Real Madrid. As captain of the national side, he led a young Spanish team to its first European Championship in 44 years. In 2010, he led Spain to their first ever FIFA World Cup in South Africa, where he also won the Golden Glove Award for the tournament’s best goalkeeper. Casillas joins eight other UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors: footballers Ronaldo de Lima, Zinedine Zidane, Didier Drogba and the world’s number one female football player, Marta Vieira da Silva; tennis player Maria Sharapova; Spanish performer Antonio Banderas; Japanese actress Misako Konno; and Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway.

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