Dubai: Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema's signed jersey auctioned for Dh128,556 at Amsak charity event

The money raised during the gala night will be used to build an orphanage for kids in Africa

Mamadou Sakho’s Amsak Charity Gala took place in Four Seasons Jumeirah, Dubai. Photo by Shihab
Mamadou Sakho’s Amsak Charity Gala took place in Four Seasons Jumeirah, Dubai. Photo by Shihab

By Ehaab Qadeer

Published: Fri 18 Nov 2022, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 18 Nov 2022, 2:39 PM

Former French defender Mamadou Sakho organised an auction of signed jerseys by all-time great Lionel Messi, Brazilian superstar Neymar, Ballon d’Or winner Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, PSG and French player Kylian Mbappe and many other footballing stars.

World Cup winner and French superstar Blaise Matuidi flew all the way from Miami to UAE for Mamadou Sakho’s Amsak Charity Gala which took place at Four Seasons Jumeirah, Dubai.

When asked which of the signed jerseys means the most for his charity auction, Mamadou replied, “For me, what means the most is Blaise Matuidi’s presence at this auction, he flew from Miami to make it to this auction, and I am touched by this gesture.”

The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema’s signed jersey was sold for the highest amount of $35,000 (Dh128,556). The jerseys signed by Thiery Henry, PSG star Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, and Neymar made a combined sale of $51,000.

A hand-painted portrait of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, by Senegalese artist Boubou Design was also auctioned at the charity gala. One of the guests sealed the deal for the portrait for $28,000.

The evening was graced by the presence of footballers like former Bayern Munich defender Medhi Benatia, Bosnia and Sharjah FC star midfielder Miralem Pjanic along with Barcelona legend Samuel Eto’o and ex-Manchester United full-back Patrice Evra among many other football stars.

The charity night saw some of UAE's noblest residents come out to support the cause, and the money raised during the gala (over Dh700,000) will be used to build an orphanage for kids in Africa.


Evra and miralem Pjanic
Evra and miralem Pjanic

Sakho said, “I love the Dubai culture; I would love to settle here after I retire from football. The city makes you feel safe; my family and I love that about this place."

The Montpellier defender had a humble upbringing. With his first salary, Mamadou sent his father to Makkah to perform Hajj. “I did not choose football, it chose me. I will give back as much as I can to the underprivileged”, Sakho added.

Saad lamjareed, performs
Saad lamjareed, performs

Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred made the evening merrier with his performance at the gala along with French freestyler footballer Sean Garnier.

Players at the charity gala praised Mamadou Sakho’s exemplary work in charity. Sakho then went on to extend his gratitude to the people of Dubai for their donations.

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