Such was the craze encompassing the footballer at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport that coordinators and security personnel had a tough time in escorting him to his vehicle.
Other than that, an extensive media person were present, two or three hundred football fans had begun pouring
inright from the morning for a glimpse of ‘Black Pearl‘ and there was a frantic scramble to go close him and snap photographs. Other people who were at the terminal holding up to check in or get visitors and relatives additionally were agreeably astonished.
The 74-year-old’s Emirates flight from Dubai arrived here at 8.07 a.m. West Bengal Municipal Affairs Minister Firhad Hakim got Pele, who was driven out of the airplane terminal through Gate 4B in a battery worked vehicle.
As Pele, looking tired from a 24-hour flight, rose up out of the terminal, he was welcomed with cheers. Reacting to the warm welcome, Pele could just mumble: “Thank you, Kolkata.”
Wearing a dark jacket and a grey T-shirt, Pele, before boarding the vehicle, remained close to the vehicle entryway and waved to his fans, who droned “Pele, Pele” and waved Brazilian banners.
Later, Pele, the only player to win three World Cups, landed at a five-star south Kolkata hotel, where he would rest for the day.
Indian football symbol Chuni Goswami was at the hotel to welcome him with blossoms. Goswami and the legend had a brief chat after which Pele went inside the room.
Asked what he asked Pele, Goswami said:” I asked him what do you need to say in regards to (Lionel) Messi, and he said ‘He is close Pele and Maradona’.”
“I additionally asked him, would you be able to play football? To which he answered, ‘No, I am not that fit’,” Goswami said happily.
Pele’s visit will kick-start on Monday with him returning to the notable Eden Gardens ground, where the city’s football fans had seen their most loved Samba player 38 years in a friendly match. The previous Santos FC striker, playing for American side New York Cosmos, featured in the exhibition match against local team Mohun Bagan in 1977.
In a double bonanza for sports buffs, Pele and the city’s own prince, previous India cricket skipper Sourav Ganguly will meet up amid a talk show at the Netaji Indoor Stadium on Monday. Among others to be available at the occasion will be Academy Award-winning music composer A.R. Rahman and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal will likewise join the show through a video conference.
Individuals from the Mohun Bagan team who played in the 1977 match would be available and get an opportunity to interact with the former Brazilian player.
Before the talk show, Pele will hold a media conference session at a five-star lodging and afterward will go to the NSHM Knowledge grounds for an interactive session with the students. On Tuesday, Pele will be the guest of honor at the Indian Super League (ISL) defending champions Atletico de Kolkata’s home game against Kerala Blasters.
He would likewise meet the ATK players that day. The Brazilian would wind up the hectic day by joining in a auction dinner. The amount will go to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
The buzz encompassing his visit is created with banners and posters of the legend across the city while some of the leading confectioners and hotels have plans to prepare delicacies in his honour.