While the World Cup has taken most focus over this last month, some players who have not been involved have taken the opportunity of a midseason break to pursue other avenues of interest, and one such was Victor Lindelof, who headed to Gambia as part of his role as ambassador for Unicef.

With Sweden failing to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, having lost in the play-offs after finishing second in their group behind Spain, Victor Lindelof was one of the players who had to watch on with envious eyes as several of his teammates headed out to Qatar. But rather than sit and stew on the missed opportunity, the 28-year-old took the opportunity to further his role as a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador for the organisation, now also known as the United Nations Children’s Fund, by visiting The Gambia to learn more about the charity’s work across the country.

The defender arrived in the West African country with his wife Maja last month and together they visited schools and hospitals to learn about the issues facing the people living there. 

Among his many experiences, Lindelof met teachers and children at Nema Basic Cycle School, where he also took part in an organised football match with pupils. After this, the United defender provided them with Manchester United shirts and footballs, signing them too.

The trip was fully documented by photographer, Daniel Riley, with Lindelof regularly updating his social media accounts with his experiences.

With Harry Maguire, Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane all having been at the World Cup, and with the latter two still being in it, a fresh Lindelof could potentially have a big part to play for United when the Premier League resumes on Boxing Day. But for now, the experience of visiting The Gambia has been a precious one for Lindelof, who has vowed to continue his work with Unicef.

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Photography by Daniel Riley.

You can donate to UNICEF, and the work they do in The Gambia, here.