New Delhi: After the Lionel Mess, Kolkata’s football fans would have another date with three times world footballer of the year, Ronaldo. Ronaldo will play in an exhibition match at Kolkata’s Salt Lake Stadium on January 15 to raise funds for the victims of the Sikkim earthquake.
The exhibition match, a brainchild of former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia will be managed by the Delhi-based event management company JPR Events. The World XI-India Dream Team exhibition match has got the go-ahead from the Indian authorities and the Indian Football Association, the state body.
The event is named ‘Super Football’. It may see current Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and former skipper Sourav Ganguly, besides Bollywood actors.
The proceeds of the match, to be played under the aegis of Football Players Association of India (FPAI), will go for the earthquake victims, which struck Sikkim on September 18.
The funds collected from the match will also be distributed among needy former India international footballers.
“I am trying to stitch an India team which will have former international players including me. The match will also have Bollywood actors and cricketers. I have been in talks with John Abraham and Ranbir Kapoor. I am also going to speak to Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly who are football followers,” he said.
The international XI, to be made up of: Regi Blinker, Cafu (C), Ronaldo, Marcel Desailly, Paolo Maldini, Angsker Birkman, Winston Bogarde, Pierre van Hooijdonk, Samuel Eto’o, Stephen Appiah, Christian Karembeu, Roland Kopp, Ronald de Boer, Rene Higuita (GK), Marcel Oerlemans.
Dutch legend Ruud Gullit will be the coach of the International XI side while Shyam Thapa will be his Indian counterpart.
(With agency inputs)