Ukraine have triumphed in Milan to lift the 2009 Homeless World Cup, the UEFA-backed annual international football tournament that gives people who are homeless the opportunity to change their lives.
The Ukraine team beat Portugal 5-4 in an exciting final after a splendid competition – the event's seventh staging – which brought together 48 nations and 500 players from all five continents in the Italian city's Arena Civica.
2010 in Brazil
Milan officials also handed the baton to Brazil ahead of the 2010 Homeless World Cup in Rio de Janeiro amid a high energy display of samba and colour, with the Brazilians promising to deliver another fine tournament next year.
An estimated 77 per cent of players involved in the Homeless World Cup experience a significant life change – no longer using drugs and alcohol, moving into homes, jobs, education, training, repairing relationships and becoming coaches or players with semi-pro teams. Around 94 per cent claim to have a renewed motivation for life.
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