On 1 September 2001 Ruud van Nistelrooy was officially appointed "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" Ambassador in the Netherlands. The then Manchester United and currently Real Madrid and Dutch national team striker has taken on the task of bringing the work of SOS Children's Villages closer to the world of football.
The football star first came into contact with the SOS Children's Village world back in 1998, when he visited SOS Children's Village Bucharest in Rumania with his 'Jong-Oranje' team-mates and experienced life in an SOS Children's Village at first hand. "I was really impressed by all the happy children playing. In spite of their difficult pasts, the children were very positive," said van Nistelrooy, and when the Dutch SOS Children's Village Association asked whether he would like to take on the role of an ambassador, the star player didn't need long to think about it: "Although I have a very busy life, I love to make an exception for SOS Children's Villages.