As Chile and Spain faced off on the pitch last week, eight children from Saudi Arabia experienced the thrill of a lifetime. As part of McDonald’s exclusive World Cup Player Escort Program, eight lucky Saudi children accompanied the Chilean and Spanish players hand-in-hand onto the pitch, ahead of the 2-0 match that left the Chilean team victorious.
The children, between the ages of six and ten, were selected from a draw that garnered an overwhelming response from all over the Kingdom. Among those selected were, Faris Nawaf AlKhamis, MJD Khalid AlNaqeeb, Yousef Maher Adas, Hussein Abdelrahman, Abdulaziz Chemsi Bacha, Yazeed Mohammed Al Faify, Mohsen Nasser Al Harbi and Abdulaziz Mazen Al Bougami, who all embarked on an unforgettable journey this summer, when they won the chance to travel to Brazil and experience the World Cup in a way most football fans only dream about.
“I could not believe I was actually there,” said Faris AlKhamis. “The photographers were running around us taking pictures and the fans were cheering so loudly I think I felt the stadium shake! I was thinking about all of my family and friends in Saudi Arabia watching me on television and I was so excited to be here,” he added.
As an official partner and the official restaurant of the FIFA World Cup 2014, McDonald’s has provided over 1,400 children from all corners of the world, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk onto the pitches in Brazil with some of the world’s best footballers.
Also accompanying the Spanish and Chilean teams was Mohsen Al Harbi, who commented how proud he was to represent Saudi Arabia at the match. “The World Cup is the biggest competition on earth,” said Al Harbi. I feel very honored to represent my country and I’m very grateful that McDonald’s Saudi Arabia gave us this opportunity. I don’t think I will ever forget it.”
During their four days in Brazil, the children and their parents had the opportunity to learn about the country and its culture, while making friends with Player Escorts from other nations across the globe.
Mohammed Alireza, Director of Corporate Affairs of Reza Food Services Co. Ltd, said, “Experiencing the joy of the World Cup alongside the children who participate in McDonald’s Player Escort Program is truly a rewarding experience. As a locally owned and operated business, we are committed to promoting active lifestyles across for local young people. The Player Escort Program is just one of many initiatives we have designed that ignite a lifelong love of sports for people of all ages, and we are pleased to share this once-in-a-lifetime moment for these young football fans and their families.”
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