By Our Correspondent | Opening Doorz Editorial | March 25, 2018
With 85 days to go before the first match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off, Hublot brought together the friends of the brand to celebrate the beautiful game with A Match of Friendship. Two one-off teams for an encounter that all football fans could have only dreamed of. True to its motto “First, Unique, Different”, Hublot invited Usain Bolt to play in his first game of football. The world sprinting champion, who is a football lover, put his feet to the service of José Mourinho’s team. Diego Maradona managed the opposing team. The match was refereed by Nicola Rizzoli and his Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia smart watch. There are some sporting moments in history that live on forever and Hublot knows better than anybody how to create these moments!
Hall 4 at Baselworld turned into a football pitch
After the gardens of the Palais Royal in Paris, it was at the Mecca of the watch-making world—where Hublot unveiled its Football watch dedicated to the 2018 FIFA World Cup—that the Swiss watchmaker blew the whistle to start this special game held in this original location.
Hublot inspired Baselworld, the players and the public with the passion for real sport, the beautiful game that unites us all. The format for a legendary game bringing together stars from the world of football and Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, under coaches Diego Maradona and José Mourinho.
Everything was in place, from the 4th official’s panel to the official FIFA World Cup mascot, Zabivaka and the recently unveiled Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia watch that gave a live demonstration of its functions. Hublot’s smart technology gave international referee Nicola Rizzoli notifications from Goal Line Technology ‘live’ throughout this Match of Friendship, just as it will during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
According to protocol, the two teams exchanged pennants at the start of the game. Going beyond pure ritual, this was a symbol of a friendly game held under the banner of friendship. At half-time, a freestyle football demonstration confirmed that anything can be done with a football: a performance from the “Freestyle Football” group, made up of 5 Polish football free stylers with incredible skills, presented an extract from their show that has already toured the world.
At the end of the game, the spirit and contagious energy of football was kept alive with the Cuban hip hop of the group ‘Orishas’ who set the pitch alight, before DJ Teddy-O—another friend of the brand—spun the decks to produce his mix for the evening.
Diego Maradona’s team
Tino Asprilla, Roberto Carlos, Hernan Crespo, Gianni Infantino, Christian Karembeu, Marco Materazzi, Gaizka Mendieta, Angelo Peruzzi, and David Trezeguet.
José Mourinho’s team
Usain Bolt, Vitor Baía, Stéphane Chapuisat, Marcel Desailly, Damien Duff, Robbie Keane, Patrick Kluivert, Richard Orlinski and Alexei Smertin.