Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary General, performed the ceremonial kickoff before the Real Madrid-Levante match. Accompanied by club president Florentino Perez and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, the Secretary General visited the club’s boardroom, saw the Whites’ football and basketball European Cups and had a chance to greet the Real players before the match. Florentino Perez gave Ban Ki-moon a jersey personalised with his name and the number 1, along with a model of the stadium. “I’ve watched Real Madrid matches for years and its one of the best teams in the world. I have great hope that we can help kick poverty out of the lives of millions of people around the world with this ceremonial kickoff”, said Ban Ki-moon in an interview with Realmadrid.com and Realmadrid TV.
Yesterday marked the 1,000 day period remaining until the target date for compliance with the Millennium Development Goals that the UN has set to reduce poverty rates. How important is Ban Ki-moon’s presence at the Santiago Bernabeu to mark this occasion?
We have 1,000 days to meet the Millennium Goals. I’m here to score goals and fight against poverty.
You performed the ceremonial kickoff before the match against Levante. What does that mean for you?
As United Nations Secretary General I’m passionate and I have great hope that we can help kick poverty out of the lives of millions of people around the world with this ceremonial kickoff.
How did you feel visiting the Santiago Bernabeu stadium?
I’ve watched Real Madrid matches for years and its one of the best teams in the world. I particularly like Casillas, who is a good United Nations ambassador for the Millennium Development Goals.