Lionel Messi, Argentine Side to Play in Kolkata

Kolkata, Feb 7 (IANS): The entire Argentine national soccer team would be seen in action in a friendly game at Kolkata's Salt Lake Stadium Sep 2, a sports management group said here Monday.

"An agreement has been signed late last month for bringing the star-studded team to Kolkata," Celebrity Management Group executive director Bhaswar Goswami told IANS.

Lionel Messi, adjudged 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or, would be a part of the squad that would play either against an European or an Asian side.

"We are yet to finalise the opponent. But it would either be a star-studded European side or a team from Asia," Goswami said.

The visit of the Argentine team will be a latest addition to a host of football celebrities and side which have visited the soccer-loving city of a cricket-crazy India in recent years.

Last year Uruguayan star footballer Diego Forlan - the golden ball winner of the 2010 FIFA World Cup - spent two days in the city for a promotional program of a channel.

Earlier Kolkata has hosted legendary footballers like Diego Maradona, Lothar Matthaus, Oliver Kahn, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Gerd Muller, Romario and Branco.

Brazillian stars 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.

But it all started with Brazilian's football legend Pele's trip to the city as a member of the cosmos football in 1977.

Goswami however said that the name of the sponsor is yet to be decided.


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Title: Lionel Messi, Argentine Side to Play in Kolkata

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