Beckenbauer's appeal aims to help develop the skills and fitness of disadvantaged children in the favelas, and provide more children with the opportunity to enjoy ‘the beautiful game.’ His ‘Football Boots for Rio’ initiative is supported by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and Mercedes-Benz.
“I would greatly appreciate it if the German people would support me with a small gesture to show solidarity with underprivileged children in Rio’s favelas,” said Beckenbauer at press event in Stuttgart recently. “Help them to fulfil their dreams, and enable us to combat social problems through football.”
He said in many of the slums around Rio de Janeiro children play football with bare feet on rubble-strewn ground.
If the appeal is a success, a van full of old boots will be exchanged for one loaded with brand new football kit and equipment for the kids in Rio.
"The used shoes will be recycled," said Bärbel Mees, a spokeswoman for Laureus.
"Due to developmental and ecological reasons, we have decided not to send the used shoes to Rio," "Instead, we'll replace them with new items."
Beckenbauer and Brazilian World Cup winner Carlos Alberto will personally hand over the donation to a Laureus project in Rio.
You can send your unwanted boots to the following address until March 5th: Laureus
Balanstrasse 73, Haus 9