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Aaron Kunjan lived his dream at the 2014 World Cup Brasil™, entering the field hand-in-hand with Antoine Griezmann

Since 2002, McDonald’s has provided the opportunity for thousands of children to fulfill their dream of walking onto the pitch at the start of football matches during the FIFA World Cup, through the Player Escort programme. This year, Aaron Kunjan of Penal, had the honour of walking hand-in-hand with Antoine Griezmann, a French player, during the match that eliminated France from the semifinals. Learn about his story and share the thrill.

Aaron Kunjan lived the dream of being in Brazil 2014

Cultural integration, patriotism, euphoria and a passion for football. These are just a few words to describe the moments and emotions prior to kick off in Brazil. It was an occasion of great significance, one which Player Escort winner and native of Trinidad and Tobago Aaron Kunjan experienced for the first time.

Only 8 years old, this little sports lover became the first Trinidadian to participate in the international Player Escort programme, organised by McDonald's as an official sponsor of the sports event. During the match between France and Germany, Kunjan walked proudly onto the field alongside and holding the hand of the striker Antoine Griezmann, number 11 of the French team.

“I was so happy to represent my country during the quarterfinal game. It was a very proud and life-changing moment for me,” Kunjan said. “I was really glad to walk onto the field with other escorts and players from France. It was an amazing experience.”

Kunjan walked into the Maracana Stadium with other children from Romania, Austria, Morocco, Canada, Curaçao and Brazil. As part of his programme in Brazil, Kunjan visited cultural attractions in Rio de Janeiro such as Sugarloaf Mountain and also played his own friendly match at the Rio Flamengo Training Field, with kids from the other participating countries.

McDonald’s Player Escort programme is the centerpiece of the company’s FIFA World Cup™ sponsorship. This year, McDonald’s shared the opportunity with more than 1,400 children (ages 6-10 years) from 69 countries, which marks the largest number of countries participating in the programme since the brand began sponsoring it in 2002. Five children from the Caribbean were selected to represent their countries, including Puerto Rico, Curaçao, Martinique, Guadeloupe and Trinidad and Tobago.