Brazilian great Pele is not the only football star scheduled to touch down in the city with ISL team Atletico de Kolkata co-owner Sourav Ganguly claiming that England superstar Wayne Rooney would also be visiting Kolkata later this year.
The former cricket captain said the 29-year-old English captain is coming as part of the second edition of the franchise-based tournament kicking off in Chennai on October 3. “Rooney will be coming here as part of the ISL, so it will not just be about Pele,” the CAB joint-secretary told media.
Ganguly has already shot a promotional for the ISL earlier this week and according to reports, Rooney is part of that ISL promotional and is likely to visit the city in November. The tournament organisers of the ISL were not available for a comment on the development, while another source rubbished the report.
“It’s a rumour. How can Rooney come? England are supposed to play two friendlies (against Spain on November 13 and France on November 17),” he said of the striker who went past Sir Bobby Charlton’s tally of 49 England goals.
However, the Manchester United striker does not have any club commitment during this period and it remains to be seen whether the city will have a tryst with another football icon.
Pele, it was announced by his agent, will be arriving in the city for a three-day visit from October 11 and be the guest of honour at ATK’s first home match in the second season of ISL, against Kerala Blasters, the following day at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan in Saltlake.
Pele’s visit will mark his return to the city 38 years after he played an exhibition match for Cosmos against Mohun Bagan.
In recent past, the football-mad city has hosted greats like Diego Maradona, Karl- Heinz Rummenigge, Lionel Messi, Oliver Kahn, Diego Forlan and Gerd Muller among others.