Barcelona, Spain. The legendary former Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has laid down a challenge in a YouTube video (https://youtu.be/N0wWtStKNUE ) to his famed fellow countryman and Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas in an international football target competition. A similar challenge from Puyol has already been accepted by new Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Puyol set the challenge as he took part in the international charity competition, the Shoot for Love Challenge. He was participating near his home in Barcelona, shortly before his move with partner Vanessa Lorenzo to New York. Like many other football stars (not least, Chelsea captain John Terry), Puyol was raising awareness and funds for the Shoot for Love Challenge cancer campaign by measuring the accuracy of his shooting against an archery style target, taking his place on a star-studded leaderboard and then daring four more footballing legends to beat his score.

Puyol challenged not only Fabregas and Klopp but also Spanish and Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta, and Spanish striker and NYC captain David Villa. Klopp and Azpilicueta both took up the challenge and have already completed their rounds. Dates will be announced shortly for Fabregas and Villa.

Carles Puyol took part in spite of the knee injury that brought an untimely end to his career on the pitch and caused him some trouble during the contest. Taking ten shots from a distance of ten metres against the archery style target where the bull’s eye is worth ten points, he managed a respectable 67 points and seventh place on the leaderboard.

After hearing his result, Puyol sent a message to a child cancer patient, Young-bin, whose dream is to become a soccer player: “Hi Young-bin, I wish you much strength and encouragement. I wish you well soon and let’s play together.”

Jun Kim of the Shoot for Love Challenge said: “I was moved and impressed by Carles Puyol’s kindness, especially as he had not played for a year and his knee was still clearly an issue for him. But despite his knee, he not only took the challenge but scored well. We were all very touched.”

Taking up Puyol’s challenge, Azpilicueta played his round in London and scored 74 points, putting him fourth on the leaderboard and pushing Puyol down to eighth. Klopp followed later and also scored 74. Azpilicueta and Klopp then each challenged four more players.

The Shoot for Love Challenge is a campaign run by the Guus Hiddink Foundation in association with fundraisers Be Kind. Leading footballers from all over the world (many of them playing for UK clubs) use their sport to raise funds and awareness for children with cancer. For every point each player scores, the Foundation donates $10 US, so each player can raise up to $1,000 from the Foundation. In addition, it is hoped that the publicity surrounding the involvement of sporting superstars will raise international awareness and further donations from fans. Each round of the contest has been recorded in photos and on video.

Players who have taken part so far include:

Spanish legends Carles Puyol and Raul Gonzalez
Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
Chelsea captain John Terry
Swansea and England midfielder Jonjo Shelvey
Swansea midfielder and South Korean captain Ki Sung-yueng
Manchester United ambassador and former midfielder Park Ji-sung
Spurs midfielder Son Heung-min
PSV Eindhoven manager Phillip Cocu
Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels

More names are added as they take up new challenges from competition players.

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