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The biggest names to have graced the city

 

SPOT KICKS

A poolside breakfast for the star

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STARS WHO PLAYED…

Lev Yashin: Known as the ‘Black Spider’ during his playing days, Soviet Union’s Lev Yashin is considered one of the world’s greatest goalkeepers for his amazing reflexes and extraordinary saves. He came to Calcutta in 1955 with the Russian side, who played two matches - against Mohun Bagan and India XI. They won both the games.

Pele: The king of football graced the Calcutta Maidan when he played for the US-based Cosmos Club in an exhibition match against Mohun Bagan in 1977. Watched by more than 70,000 spectators at the Eden Gardens, the match ended in a 2-2 draw.

Enzo Francescoli: The elegant and skilful Uruguayan World Cupper played in Calcutta in the inaugural Nehru Cup in 1982. One of the most capped players in the history of Uruguayan football, Francescoli won the Nehru Cup and the hearts of soccer fans in the city with his dazzling display.

Valencio Ramos: Nicknamed ‘Chicharra’, Ramos became the darling of the Calcutta crowd when he played for Uruguay in the first Nehru Cup. An exceptionally intelligent footballer, he played a key role in Uruguay’s 2-0 triumph over China in the final.

Jorge Burruchaga: A leading member of the 1986 Argentina World Cup winning squad, the striker came down to Calcutta under Carlos Bilardo in the 1984 Nehru Cup. Argentina had a forgettable campaign in the city as they failed to reach the final but won the World Cup two years later with Burruchaga netting the winner.

Jose Luis Brown: Another member of Diego Maradona’s immortal 1986 World Cup-winning team, the courageous defender was part of the Argentine team which participated in the ’84 Nehru Cup.

Laszlo Kiss: The Hungarian World Cupper played in Calcutta in the 1984 Nehru Cup.

Wtodzimirez Smolarek: He was the leading man in the Poland side that clinched the third place in the 1982 World Cup. Smolarek played entertaining football in the 1984 Nehru Cup helping Poland win the trophy.

Andrzej Buncol: The double World Cupper came to Calcutta with the Poland national team in 1984 Nehru Cup. Apart from being a member of team that finished third in 1982 World Cup, he played in 1986 edition and later migrated to Germany.

Roger Milla: This star from Cameroon, who shot to fame at the age of 38 in the 1990 World Cup, came to Calcutta a few months later to play for Diamond Club in the Mohun Bagan Centenary tournament.

Oliver Kahn: Calcutta was fortunate to host the German goalkeeping legend’s farewell tie when Bayern Munich played an exhibition match against Mohun Bagan in 2008. Bayern won 3-0.

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