Real Madrid's new signing? Shimon Peres

By Jennifer Lipman, February 24, 2011
Shimon Peres with Real Madrid players (Photo: Amos Ben Gersom / GPO)

Shimon Peres with Real Madrid players (Photo: Amos Ben Gersom / GPO)

The Israeli President lent his football expertise to the Real Madrid team after joining the Spanish side for a practice session.

Shimon Peres, who is in Spain for a four day visit, met team-members including Ronaldo, Kaka and Pepe, as well as being presented with a personalised Real Madrid shirt and a silver replica of the Bernabéu stadium.

Mr Peres, who in 2002 launched the Twinned Peace Sport Schools initiative to encourage dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian children, thanked Real Madrid coach José Mourinho for his work promoting the scheme.

Mr Peres invited the team to Israel for a return visit to see the initiative in action. He said: "Sport is the best way to advance peace, equality and brotherhood among peoples.

“Sport erases borders between nations, between religions, and between opponents - on the playing field all are equal.”

He added: “Unlike a battlefield, on the playing field there is competition without bloodshed and without hate."

Speaking on behalf of his team, Ronaldo said: “This is a very big honour for us to meet you and to host you on the playing field."

Last updated: 9:59am, February 25 2011