SPOTTED: Ronaldo walks to the pitch with physically challenged child

Portugal defeated hosts Russia at the ongoing FIFA Confederations Cup on Wednesday with a solitary Cristiano Ronaldo goal but that is not the only high point of the encounter.

One other is how the goalscorer was spotted walking onto the field at the start of the match accompanied by Polina Khayeredinova, a physically challenged 10-year-old girl.

This is the first time in the history of FIFA that a player was accompanied to the football pitch by a physically challenged.

The history, though, was made possible by McDonald’s, sponsor of the Confederations Cup, which wanted to portray football as open to physically challenged children.

    Captains of football teams taking part in the tournament will be accompanied to the field by disabled children in each of the host cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi.

    More than 350 kids aged between six and 10 are participating in McDonald’s children’s programme in the four host cities. Most of them come from orphanages, foster homes and low-income families.

    The match between Russia and Portugal was played at the over 42,700-capacity Spartak Stadium, a newly-built facility in the Russian capital.

    Ronaldo scored the only goal of the match in the ninth minute — a headed effort by a man who is favourite to win his fifth World Footballer of the Year award to equal the record of rival Lionel Messi


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