United legend Bobby Charlton shoots for peace

Manchester United legend will lead UK team in Maccabiah opening ceremony.

bobby charlton 248.88 (photo credit: )
bobby charlton 248.88
(photo credit: )
Manchester United and England legend Sir Bobby Charlton swapped his suit and tie for a red United T-shirt and sweat pants on Friday as he coached Jewish and Arab children of the Football for Peace project at the Wingate Institute in Netanya. Charlton, a United director who will also lead out the Great Britain Maccabiah team in Monday's Opening Ceremony, was delighted to play with the children and give them some tips to improve their game. "I haven't coached in many years but it was fantastic for me to receive such feedback from the kids," Charlton said. "The Manchester United Football Foundation helps everyone regardless of age, gender or religion. It's fantastic to see Arabs mixing with Jews on the football field. "I'm pleased this has coincided with the Maccabiah Games. I'm looking forward to that." Charlton was also asked numerous questions regarding Manchester United at the press conference at Wingate. "Cristiano Ronaldo will go down as one of the great players to play for United, but he wasn't born in England and he has always wanted to play for Real," Charlton said when asked on the Portuguese star's 94 million euro transfer to Madrid. "Some will say he is irreplaceable, but he has gone with our blessing. He wants to go to Real, but who knows maybe one day he will want to come back, I doubt it. "Alex Ferguson is a genius when it comes to handling people and if he says he can restructure Manchester United after Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez leave than you have to believe him. "Through his experience Ferguson has never been afraid to make decisions and at the end of the day United will be the beneficiary. That is usually the case." Charlton also believes United's new signing Michael Owen could well become a star at Old Trafford, despite his many doubters. "If he remains free of injury then maybe his best years are ahead of him," Charlton said. "He's had a lot of injuries in his time, but he's looking good at the moment. We will have to wait and see how he does on the field." Arguably the best player England has ever produced, Charlton is one of the most recognizable faces in world soccer. As a Manchester United player, Sir Bobby won three league titles, one FA Cup and the European Cup in 1968. The 71-year-old, who survived the Munich air disaster in 1958, was the European player of the year in 1966, the same year he helped England to its one and only World Cup triumph. "In 1966 we won because we had a system that worked with good players and a strong coach," Charlton said. "I think Capello is the same. If we don't get injuries I think we have a great chance of winning next year."