Football 'Gladiators' in Perspex cages set to do battle in O2 Arena

Posted By: Staff

London, May 8 (ANI): A British company is launching a series of events to find the "best player" in football, cricket, rugby and American football by pitting them against each other in front of spectators.

Some of the world's top footballers are to star in a ground breaking contest to be held in July at London's O2 Arena, testing skills such as control, strike power and goal scoring.

Liverpool ace Steven Gerrard and Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas will join rivals to be staged in front of 20,000 fans just after the World Cup.

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney and former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo are also in the frame to compete along with Valencia's David Villa and Didier Drogba of Chelsea.

The players will face challenges including A:3K Attack - where six of them will be placed in a Perspex cage with six goals and two footballs, trying to score as many times as possible, The Times reports.

"The players will be stripped back to expose their raw talent," said Steve Clarke, the founder of Aura Entertainment, which is said to have invested about 10 million pounds in A:3K Football.

Each player is understood to receive at least 500,000 pounds to take part.

Talks have also taken place with rugby, cricket and American football players to expand the format.

Aura is to hold talks later this month about taking the football event to Madison Square Garden, New York, and is negotiating to create an American Football version. "What we're trying to do is create an entertainment concept," said Clarke.

He said that formats for other sports could be introduced next year. "We have already had conversations with significant players in other sports - specifically cricket, rugby and American football."

The footballers were persuaded to take part by Terry Byrne, David Beckham's long-time confidant. (ANI)

Story first published: Saturday, May 8, 2010, 12:00 [IST]
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