The former Argentine FIFA World Cup captain Diego Maradona has arrived in Kolkata on Sunday (December 10) for a three-day visit. Wearing a blue T-shirt to go with a cool looking cap, the 57-year-old landed in the football-crazy city after 7 pm and headed straight to the hotel in New Town, Rajarhat.
The 1986 World Cup winner had last visited Kolkata back in December 2008, wherein a huge number of fans gathered near the Dum Dum airport to greet the football icon. In this particular visit, Diego is expected to play a charity football match against Kolkata’s greatest cricketing son Sourav Ganguly. The match is likely to take place on December 12 in Barasat, approximately 35 kilometres from the city.
“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,” Maradona quoted by PTI as saying.
“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 further said.
Initially, the football legend was scheduled to arrive in the ‘City of Joy’ on September 19 – on the day of Mahalaya to kickstart the auspicious Durga Puja festival. Diego was programmed to unveil his statue apart from inaugurating a north Kolkata pandal. However, the schedule was altered a bit and now he will lay the foundation of his statue tomorrow.
Maradona also has some sponsors commitments by the end of the evening and will attend a gala dinner. It is however not clear whether the football legend would play the full match since he had recently gone through a shoulder surgery.
You can watch Diego Maradona’s arrival at Kolkata’s Dum Dum airport here: