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The UN has enlisted the volunteer services and support of prominent personalities from the worlds of art, music, film, sport and literature to highlight key issues and to draw attention to its activities.

Over the years, many Olympians, World Champions, elite athletes and sports personalities have lent their name and time to support the UN family. Their mass appeal especially helps in motivating people to act in the interest of improving their own lives and those of their fellow citizens.

These individuals are given the title of Goodwill Ambassador, Messenger of Peace, Special Representative, Champion for Sport or other status depending on the UN entity who has appointed them.

A number of them – including tennis player Maria Sharapova and football players Didier Drogba, Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane – are also championing the cause of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Using their celebrity status and social media networks, the MDG Champions support UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in mobilizing global action on the Goals. For a complete list of MDG Champions, please click here.

The sports personalities who have been associated with the activities of the UN are:


Goodwill Ambassador Beatrice Faumuina New Zealand Athletics
    Carl Lewis United States Athletics
    Debbie Ferguson Bahamas Athletics
    Patrick Vieira France Football
    Raúl Gonzáles (Raúl) Spain Football
    Roberto Baggio
Italy Football
UN Secretariat UN Messengers of Peace Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein Jordan Equestrian
Former UN Messengers of Peace Muhammad Ali USA Boxing
    Vijay Amritraj India Tennis
UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassadors Hong Myung-Bo  Korea Football
    Emmanuel Adebayor Togo Football
    Michael Ballack Germany Football
    Myung-Bo Hong South Korea Football
Global Goodwill Ambassadors Iker Casillas Spain Football
    Didier Drogba Côte d'Ivoire Football
    Marta Brazil Football
    Ronaldo Brazil Football
    Maria Sharapova Russia Tennis
    Zinédine Zidane France Football
National Goodwill Ambassadors Nicol Ann David Malaysia Squash
    Haile Gebressalie Ethiopia Athletics
    Aisam ul Haq Qureshi Pakistan Tennis
    Nadjima Kaltouma Chad Athletics
Goodwill Ambassador Sachin Tendulkar India Cricket
Champions for Sport Rabah Madjer Algeria Football
    Davaajargal Munkhbat (Hakuho) Mongolia Sumo Wrestling
    David Douillet France Judo
    Edson Arantes Do Nascimento (Pelé) Brazil Football
    Jacqueline Silva Brazil Volleyball
    Justine Henin Belgium Tennis
    Michael Schumacher Germany Formula 1
    Sergey Bubka Ukraine Pole Vault
    Veronica Campbell-Brown Jamaica Athletics
    Óscar Washington Tabárez Uruguay Football
    Virgilijus Alekna Lithuania Discus Throwing
    Vitaliy & Wladimir Klitschko Ukraine Boxing
    Vyacheslav Fetisov Russia Ice Hockey
UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador Yuko Arimori Japan Marathon
International Ambassadors Lionel Messi Argentina Football
    Yuna Kim South Korea Figure Skating
    David Beckham United Kingdom Football 
    Serena Williams USA Tennis
National Ambassadors Manu Ginobilli Argentina Basketball 
    Zobera Rahman Linu Bangladesh  Table Tennis
    Justine Henin Belgium Tennis
    Edin Dzeko Bosnia and Herzegovina  Football 
    Elena Grosheva Canada Gymnastics 
    Beckie Scott Canada   Cross-Country Skiing 
    Ivan Zamorano Chile   Football 
    Slaven Bilic Croatia   Football 
    Patrik Elias Czech Republic  Ice-Hockey 
    Tresor Lualua Czech Republic  Football 
    Erki Nool Estonia  Athletics 
    Tirunesh Dibaba Ethiopia  Athletics
    Kenenisa Bekele Ethiopia  Athletics 
    Berhane Adere Ethiopia  Athletics 
    Bernard Lama France  Football
    Lilian Thuram France  Football
    Marcel Desailly Ghana  Football 
    Gianfranco Zola Italy Football 
    Deborah Compagnoni Italy Skiing 
    Francesco Totti Italy Football 
    Paolo Maldini Italy  Football 
    Lee Chong Wei Malaysia  Badminton 
    Frank Fredericks Namibia  Athletics 
    Agnes Samaria Namibia  Athletics 
    Nwankwo Kanu Nigeria  Football 
    Ole Gunnar Solskjær Norway  Football 
    Pedro Couceiro Portugal  Car Racing 
    Novak Djokovic Serbia Tennis
    Jelena Jankovic Serbia  Tennis 
    Ana Ivanovic Serbia  Tennis 
    Aleksandar Djordjevic Serbia  Basketball 
    Zlatko Zahovic Slovenia  Football 
    Marko Simeunovic Slovenia Football 
    Quinton Fortune South Africa  Football 
    Rafael Guijosa Spain  Handball 
    Fernando Alonso Spain  Formula One 
    Pau Gasol Spain  Basketball 
    Eusebio Sacristan Spain  Football 
    Pedro Delgado Spain  Cycling 
    Kajsa Bergqvist Sweden  Athletics 
    Matt Dawson United Kingdom  Rugby 
    Ryan Giggs United Kingdom  Football 
    Sir Alex Ferguson United Kingdom  Football (Manager) 
    Manchester United FC United Kingdom  Football 
    Summer Sanders USA Swimming 
    Diego Forlan Uruguay  Football
    Javier Hernández (“Chicharito”) Mexico Football
UNODC Goodwill Ambassador
Igor Cassina Italy   Gymnastics
  National Goodwill Ambassador Shahid Afridi Pakistan Cricket
WFP Ambassadors Against Hunger Kaká Brazil  Football
    Paul Tergat Kenya    Marathon 
    Ronaldinho Brazil  Football 
    Jessica Watson Australia  Sailing / Adventure 
    Li Ning China   Olympic Gymnast 
Celebrity Partners Dikembe Mutombo DRC  Basketball 
    Freddy Adu Ghana  Football 
    Jarno Trulli Italy   Formula 1 
    Muttiah Muralitharan Sri Lanka  Cricket 
    Robert Korzeniowski Poland  Athletics 
Stop TB Ambassador
Luis Figo Portugal  Football

Click on the Links Below and See How the United Nations Mobilizes the Power of Sport