Sweden: Marcus Allbäck

Swedish international striker Marcus Allbäck became an official "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" ambassador in September 2005, at a small ceremony at the Swedish National Football Arena in Stockholm.

Marcus Allbäck

Allbäck first met representatives of SOS Children's Villages Sweden at a meeting between the Swedish Football association and the children's welfare organisation, during which personal football items were being collected from the players for a charity auction.

Allbäck took an immediate interest in the work of SOS Children's Villages and offered more. "I wanted to do something more [...] I wanted to take an active interest in the work of SOS Children's Villages," he said. "I have two children of my own and I really believe in the concept of SOS Children's Villages."

"The children are our future! If I can help to make this world a better place by [...] supporting the 6 villages for 2006 campaign, then that is fantastic," added the footballer who played for several European clubs, such as Heerenveen, Aston Villa, Hansa Rostock, before joining Danish club FC Copenhagen earlier this year.

As a professional footballer Allbäck has travelled around the world extensively. However, he pointed out that during these journeys, players seldom had time to do much more than play football and then return back home. Allbäck said he would like to see more than just a hotel room during his future travels, and expressed his interest in visiting an SOS Children's Village.

"I understand that visiting an SOS Children's Village is something that changes your life forever and I hope to soon have the opportunity to make such a journey," he said.