WorldCoaches brings Winter, Blinker and Mendes da Silva to Lithuania

In a series of events, Dutch football legends, Aron Winter, Regi Blinker Sander Westerveld, David Mendes da Silva and others, will play eFP soldiers at the Iron Wolf Brigade soccer field on July 5 and will participate in a large football event for children in the Širvintos stadium on July 6.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands, in close cooperation with the NATO enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup and the Lithuanian organization, organizes a series of football events on the 5th and 6th of July. The events give expression to the warm relationship between the Netherlands and Lithuania, with our security being one of the strongest links, reflected by Dutch troops contributing to Lithuanian security within NATO enhanced Forward Presence, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands reported in a press release.

At the launch of the event. Photo Elvis Žaldaris

The initiative is part of the KNVB WorldCoaches program of the Dutch National Football Association and aims to reinforce relations between both countries. “What better way to strengthen these bonds than through football? Sports like football can bring together people from different backgrounds. It crosses barriers of culture and language”, explains Bonnie Horbach, ambassador of the Netherlands.

The Dutch football legends, Aron Winter, Regi Blinker Sander Westerveld, David Mendes da Silva and others “As football is a passion of the Netherlands, we want to share this passion with the Lithuanian people. In the same way, as we were introduced to basketball, the national sport of Lithuania and were invited to play throughout the country” adds Captain Merien, a Dutch officer currently stationed in Rukla.

The Dutch Ambassador Bonnie Horbach, Photo- Elvis Žaldaris
Lithuanian legends team

On the 5th of July, the Dutch football legends will play the winning team of an eFP football 5 to 5 tournament held on the 30th of June in Jonova and 5th of July in Rukla. The twenty teams are made up of Lithuanian players and of other contributing eFP nations.

They will compete for the honors of best football team 2019. Unique is that some of the teams combine different nationalities, which expresses the bond between the different nations. Throughout the day, the Dutch legends are introduced to Lithuania and to the NATO enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup.

At the launch of the event. Photo Elvis Žaldaris

On the 6th of July, over one hundred children participate at the Širvintos stadium in an interactive program organized by Soldiers of the eFP battlegroup will entertain and inspire the youngsters with a fun day of football, games and team spirit exercises. During the day, the Dutch football legends, Aron Winter, Regi Blinker Sander Westerveld, David Mendes da Silva will interact with the children.

Towards the close of play, the Lithuanian legends team will play a match against the Dutch legends. The Lithuanian team will be represented by former Lithuanian national team players Deividas Šemberas, Edgaras Jankauskas and Deividas Cesnauskis, Dutch Donovan Slijngard, who currently plays for Žalgiris Vilnius and Lithuanian media personalities Vytaras Radzevičius, Marijonas Mikutavičius and Martynas Starkus.

For a Safer Lithuania

The events on July 5 and 6 are part of the campaign #stronger2GETHER. #stronger2GETHER is an initiative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to connect, cooperate and co-create with Lithuania. Our goal is to build innovative partnerships because together we are stronger! The events also fall under the umbrella of the presidential campaign “For a Safer Lithuania”.


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