Peter Schmeichel to captain celebrity team at 2017 Abu Dhabi Invitational

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Football legend Peter Schmeichel will captain a Celebrity team of sports stars against Paul McGinley's Pro Golfers at the 2017 Abu Dhabi Invitational.

Schmeichel will be joined by his former Manchester United team-mate Dwight Yorke, as well as other footballing greats Ruud Gullit, Ronald de Boer, Roberto di Matteo, Gabriel Batistuta, Hasan Salihamidzic and Liam Brady at the award-winning Yas Links from January 28-29, 2017.

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Schmeichel's team will be bolstered further by more big-name competitors from cricket, rugby union, Olympic sports and the world of entertainment who will be announced in the coming days.

Schmeichel, who captained Manchester United to the 1999 UEFA Champions League to complete the Treble, as well as winning UEFA Euro 1992 with Denmark will lead his side against McGinley's as the Abu Dhabi Invitational embraces an exciting change of format for 2017.

This year's event will comprise an Amateur Championship on Saturday 28 January with invited sponsor and stakeholder guests, before the main Invitational on Sunday 29 January and both days are open to the public.

The format for the Sunday Invitational will see 20 professionals and 20 celebrities paired with a VIP guest as the teams compete against each other in a Ryder Cup Fourball format.

This year the teams will be playing to raise money for the captains' chosen charities.

Schmeichel said: "It is an honour to be captaining the Celebrity team at this year's Abu Dhabi Invitational and, with the line-up we have, I know we can give the Pros a serious challenge.

"It is a prestigious event at a wonderful course and I am looking forward to it enormously. I know we will have a lot of fun and raise important funds for charity too."

His Excellency Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), said: "We are thrilled Peter will captain the Celebrity team at Yas Links for the Abu Dhabi Invitational this year and the array of footballing talent he has in his team.

"It is wonderful to have Roberto di Matteo and Dwight Yorke returning to play at Yas Links and we also look forward to welcoming other football legends like Ruud Gullit, Gabriel Batistuta, Ronald de Boer, Hasan Salihamidzic and Liam Brady to the event."

The Abu Dhabi Invitational is free to attend and oors open at 7am on 28th January.

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