Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly will be playing football with Argentine legend Diego Maradona in a charity match to be held in Kolkata.
“It is such an honour for me to be able to make this trip. Kolkata is a very special place and I have good memories from my trip there many years ago, the fans were fantastic,” the 56-year-old said.
The former football player will visit Kolkata in September, just before the Durga Puja commences. This will be the FIFA World Cup winning footballer’s second trip to India. He will also be felicitated by the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee.
“India is a very passionate football nation, and I look forward to meeting a whole new generation of fans while continuing to spread the overwhelming love that I have for this beautiful game,” he added.
Maradona last visited India in December 2008, and thousands of football fans welcomed him. Ganguly himself a huge football fan and also the owner of Indian Super League team Atletico de Kolkata. The promoter of Maradona’s event, Satadru Dutta, revealed that the match will aim to put Maradona in the spotlight. A host of other celebrities apart from Ganguly are to be a part of the event.
The match will not be a standard 11v11 tie and some of the rules will be different from what we see in international games.
Apparently, the football star is also going to inaugurate puja pandals in Kolkata! Though the name of the puja pandal is not disclosed as yet, it was informed that the 56-year-old legend will launch an initiative “Durga Darshan” whereby a few will be able to visit 14 top puja pandals in air-conditioned buses by paying an entry of Rs 1,000 between September 24 and 30. In a city which is already too crowded during the pujas, one can only expect more crowd due to Maradona.
Photo by thbj
Photo by Nicolás Eduardo Feredjian