An array of superstar talent from the worlds of sport and entertainment has arrived today in Sardinia for the Costa Smeralda Invitational 2017.

Michael Ballack, the German football legend, will feature at the event this weekend alongside other former Chelsea stars Roberto di Matteo and Gianfranco Zola. The footballers are joined by other A-list sports and entertainment personalities including Hollywood star James Nesbitt, current Premier League footballer and ex-England international Peter Crouch as well as cricket legend Brian Lara.

An integral part of the Invitational has always been to raise funds for charity and this year the event’s Gala Dinner is supporting the Global Gift Foundation, The foundation helps women, children and families in need around the world and Global Gift ambassadors at the event will include TV stars Pamela Anderson, Alesha Dixon and actor Craig McGinlay. The Dinner, held at the stunning Cala di Volpe hotel, will conclude with an auction to raise money for the charity. Denise Van Outen, the British entertainment presenter, will host the Dinner.

This will be the third Costa Smeralda Invitational. This 2017 event has expanded beyond a Celeb-Am golf tournament to a unique Festival of Sport including a tennis tournament, water-skiing challenge and cycling tour. The golf will be hosted by Annika Sorenstam, the world’s best-ever female player, former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash will host the tennis whilst fashion designer Melissa Obadash will look after guests at the water-skiing.

Invited celebrity guests will lead teams of golfers in the Golf Invitational at Pevero Golf Club, hosted by the former world No 1 Sorenstam. The Swede will also host an exclusive golf clinic before the event and invite guests to ‘Beat the Pro’ at the Salesforce Par-3 Challenge.

Sorenstam said: “Pevero Golf Club is renowned for its quality and its spectacular scenery and I can’t wait to host the Costa Smeralda Invitational golf tournament this year.”

Cash’s tennis tournament will be held in the beautiful Porto Cervo resort and he will also run a private tennis clinic for guests before the competition begins, said: “This is a great opportunity for all those who love their sport, and love a bit of luxury too, to come to Sardinia and one of the world’s most breathtaking coasts. With Wimbledon starting in two weeks, it is a perfect opportunity to get into the swing for SW19!”

Other celebrity guests include Bayern Munich legend Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamizic, Sprinbok and Saracens rugby star Schalk Brits as well as Scotland rugby stars Max and Thom Evans. Sandrine Testud, the former French tennis star, British comedian Dom Joly and TV and radio personality Jamie Theakston join the event.

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