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Rediff.com  » Sports » Kolkata set to play host to stars Pele, Cafu

Kolkata set to play host to stars Pele, Cafu

January 04, 2012 07:17 IST

The home of Indian football is once again gearing up for another football fiesta when a galaxy of international stars, led by two-time World Cup winner Brazilian Cafu, will be up against a dream Indian XI at the Salt Lake Stadium on January 23.

More than three decades after he mesmerised the football-crazy Kolkata in an exhibition match for New York Cosmos, 71-year-old Brazilian legend Pele will once again set foot in the city and will be representing the Superstars XI.

The world team would also have the services of Brazilian star Ronaldo.

Kolkatans will also get an opportunity to watch the 1998 World Cup winner and Frenchman Marcel Desailly besides the likes of legendary Italian defender Paolo Maldini.

The team will be coached by former Dutch superstar Ruud Gullit -- captain of the Euro 88 winning team.

Selected by the Football Players' Association of India, the home side will be led by inspirational Bhaichung Bhutia and will be partnered by legendary forward I M Vijayan up front.

The Shyam Thapa coached dream Indian XI will also have formers Indian stars like Carlton Chapman, Jo-Paul Ancheri, Bruno Coutinho to name a few.

The football superstars along with few Indian players will also impart a two-hour training on match-day morning.

The tickets in the 120,000 capacity stadium will be priced between Rs 300 and 500.

Way back on September 22, 1977, Pele fever gripped the city as he drew more than 80,000 fans at Eden Gardens for an exhibition match against Mohun Bagan as it became a part of football folklore in India.

After Pele, Kolkata's tryst with the legends continued as it later hosted German World Cup winning captain Lothar Matthaus, legendary goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, Argentine great Diego Maradona and the latest being iconic Lionel Messi in September last year.

The organisers said further details of the match will be announced on January 6.

THE TEAMS

Superstars XI: Cafu (c), Pele, Regi Blinker, Ronaldo Luís Nazario de Lima, Marcel Desailly, Paolo Maldini, Denilson, Pierre van Hooijdonk, Angsker Birkman, Winston Bogarde, Christian Karaembu, Roland Kopp, Ronald De Boer, Marcel Oerlemans and Rene Higuita (goalkeeper); Coach: Ruud Gullit.

Indian Dream XI: Bhaichung Bhutia, Renedy Singh, Bruno Coutinho, Calrton Chapman, I M Vijayan, Jo Paul Ancheri, Alvito D' Cunha, Dipendu Biswas, Basudeb Mondal, Godfrey Periera, Aqueel Ansari; Coach: Shyam Thapa.

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