Dutch star Ruud Gullit arrives in Kolkata

July 28th, 2012 - 5:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 28 (IANS) Dutch football legend Ruud Gullit arrived in the city Saturday morning on a two-day visit during which he will attend the final match of a ‘para’ (community) tournament besides being the chief guest at the annual awards function of Mohun Bagan club.

“He landed at the Kolkata airport Saturday morning from Amsterdam via London. He is slated to attend a programme in a radio channel today,” Dharamdas Pandey, CEO of Celebrity Management Group, told IANS.

Sunday he will interact with the media and attend the final of a para football organised by a radio station. During the match, Gullit will select two of the best players who would be trained by Prayag United.

The Dutch star will also be the chief guest at the awards function of city football giants Mohun Bagan Sunday when the club celebrates the ‘Mohun Bagan Day’ to commemorate its victory against East York Regiment in the IFA Shield final on this day in 1911. Gullit will also inaugurate a new jersey of the club designed by singer Babul Supriyo.

Gullit will leave the city July 30.

A versatile player of the 1980s and 1990s, Gullit captained the Netherlands team that won Euro 88. He was also a member of the squad for the 1990 Football World Cup. He was named the European Footballer of the Year in 1987 and the World Player of the Year in 1987 and 1989.

With Gullit’s visit, Kolkata continues hosting legendary footballers like Pele, Diego Maradona, Lothar Matthaus, Oliver Kahn, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Gerd Muller, Romario and Branco, who all mesmerised the city with their presence.

Though all the masters came to the city much after their retirement, Uruguayan soccer star Diego Forlan came to city to participate in a football talent hunt show, just weeks after becoming the golden ball winner in the 2010 world cup.

Brazilian star Zico had come as the coach of Japan’s national side for a pre-World Cup game, while Cameroon’s Roger Milla - adjudged the best African player of the last century - played an exhibition match months after his sparkling performance at the 1990 World Cup.

Earlier, the city hosted the country’s first ever FIFA friendly match when football sensation Lionel Messi led Argentina clashed against Venezuela at the Salt Lake stadium. The Argentinians won the encounter courtesy a second-half header by Porto centre-half Nicolas Otamendi.

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