Football Legend Diego Maradona to Play Against Sourav Ganguly in Kolkata
Maradona also unveiled his 12-feet statue, which was criticized on social media for not looking like the footballer.
Legendary Argentine footballer Diego Maradona is scheduled to play a charity football match with Sourav Ganguly, the former captain of Indian cricket team, in Kolkata on Dec. 12. The footballer also unveiled his 12-feet statue in Kolkata, which was criticized on social media for not looking similar to him.
Maradona landed in Kolkata on Dec. 10 on a three-day visit. He was supposed to visit the city in September to unveil his statue, kickstart the Durga Puja festivities and inaugurate a pandal in north Kolkata. However, his visit was postponed. Now many celebrities who were supposed to play at the charity match may not be available. It is also not known if Maradona would play the entire match since he underwent a shoulder surgery recently.
“I don’t think I’m the god of football. I just consider myself as a simple football player,” he said, the Times of India reported. “I am glad to be in Kolkata for the second time. Thank you very much for the love.”
The statue that he unveiled, however, received a lot of flak on social media.
A statue of Argentina legend Diego Maradona has been unveiled in India. Sadly, it looks more like Roy Hodgson… pic.twitter.com/DAmhW9Xp0i
— Sporting Index (@sportingindex) December 11, 2017
— BarDown (@BarDown) December 12, 2017
A statue of Maradona has been unveiled in India – Good to see the sculptor that made the Ronaldo masterpiece is still getting work pic.twitter.com/eHdbZDjTLl
— ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) December 11, 2017
Maradona is going to play Ganguly on the outskirts of Barasat, which is about 35 km from the city.
Maradona will also be meeting some cancer patients.
The suite he is staying at in a five-star hotel in Rajarhat, New Town, was decorated with his special on-field moments. He was reportedly ecstatic after seeing the collage of Argentine Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara and Cuban leader Fidel Castro, whom he considered his “second father.”
“We have carefully chosen the theme to the liking of Maradona. We want his trip to be memorable,” a hotel official said, PTI reported. The hotel called a cook for preparing his favorite beef delicacies, the official added.
He came to Kolkata via Dubai, where he coaches the Al-Fujairah SC club. He was accompanied by his partner Rocio Oliva.
— ANI (@ANI) December 10, 2017
This is the second visit to India by the footballer, who was part of the 1986 Fifa World Cup winning team. His previous visit was in 2008, when he pulled in a crowd of almost 100,000 in Kolkata.
Maradona is not the only renowned international footballer to visit the city that is crazy about the sport. Brazilian football legend Pele visited the city in 2015, when thousands thronged to get a glimpse of him. His first visit was in 1977.