Franco Baresi is set to face Alan Shearer next month in a charity game between legends of Milan and Newcastle.
The two sides will meet at St James’ Park on September 11, with the proceeds being donated to the Great North Children's Hospital, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the Newcastle United Foundation.
The game is being staged by former Newcastle ‘keeper Steve Harper, who is now on the books of Hull City.
“I have to thank – talk about name-dropping – Franco Baresi,” the 38-year-old Harper commented. “He was very keen to come along.
“One of the big things is I don’t think he’s ever played against Alan Shearer and he’s very much looking forward to that, so that’s a contest to keep an eye on.
“But the opportunity to bring the likes of Baresi, Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta, Christian Vieri and Andriy Shevchenko here to St James’ Park and see that Milan kit with arguably some of the best players ever to have played the game in it was too good to turn down.
“Then it’s obviously what opposition do you put against them and, having been here for 20 years, the idea was to put some of the best players to have worn a black-and-white shirt in my time here up against them.
“I think I need to crack the whip, though, because I’m told Milan are very competitive – they were at Rangers – and are training for a week before the game.
“It will just be fantastic to see the likes of Alan, Les Ferdinand, Tino Asprilla – personally I am looking forward to seeing the Peter Beardsley-Andy Cole partnership re-united.”
Franco Baresi, who will captain the Italian side, noted: “I know the passion of Newcastle fans and I know of the club's history and the love of football in the city so I congratulate Steve and wish the fans and Newcastle United a magnificent occasion.”