THE who's who of global soccer, including legends Ruud Gullit, Eusebio, Roger Milla and Franz Beckenbauer, will invade Johannesburg this weekend to grace Soccerex.
Also attending are Fifa president Sepp Blatter, Brazil soccer chief Ricardo Teixeira, coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, local legend Lucas Radebe and Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane.
Soccerex is an international gathering of business and soccer leaders, where various local and global institutions will also be exhibiting their products.
The Gauteng provincial government, through the department of sport, arts, culture and recreation, has been hosting this money-spinning event for the past three years. The department's chief director Ivor Hoff said Soccerex was a great platform to show Gauteng and South Africa's readiness for the World Cup.
Safa president Kirsten Nematandani described the success of Soccerex as yet another vote of confidence in South Africa's ability to host major global events.
"This is coming on the eve of one of the biggest events in our lifetime, the 2010 World Cup final draw in Cape Town on December 4," he said.
"We are particularly impressed with the organisation of this forum (Soccerex) and the opportunities presented to South Africa.
"We would like to thank the Gauteng provincial government for this initiative of bringing Soccerex to our country. It has helped our teams to sell themselves."
Soccerex chief executive Duncan Revie said they were looking forward to an exciting gathering of soccer and business partners.
"It has been an absolutely great three years for Soccerex to be here in South Africa, the country that I have no doubt will host a successful 2010 World Cup," he said.
Avusa Media, owners of Sowetan newspaper, are co-sponsors of this event, which will start on Saturday in Sandton with a five-a-side tournament.