Kolkata, a city renowned for its grand Durga Puja celebrations, welcomed a special guest this year, none other than the legendary Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho. Amidst the festive fervor and the scorching Kolkata summer, Ronaldinho graced the city's streets last Sunday, participating in multiple events and leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of the residents.
In a remarkable turn of events, Ronaldinho inaugurated not one but two football academies on the same day. First, at Marlin Rise, he unveiled the Ronaldinho Football Academy, followed by the inauguration of the R-10 Football Academy. Among the 13 academies he has established worldwide, the R-10 Football Academy holds the distinction of being India's sole representative.
Fans gathered in large numbers to catch a glimpse of the Brazilian football icon at Rajarhat, where the enthusiasm was palpable. It wasn't just football enthusiasts who were present; Ronaldinho displayed his dribbling skills for all to witness, leaving everyone in awe. Minister Sujit Basu also had the opportunity to witness this display of talent from the goalkeeping position.
Afterward, Ronaldinho proceeded to Shreebhumi Sporting Club, where he paid his respects by making a generous contribution to the Maardona idol. At the club's Durga Puja pandal, he received a warm welcome and felicitation.
The footballing legend then made his way to Kalighat, the residence of West Bengal's Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee. The visit was graced by the presence of Minister Sujit Basu and several prominent club representatives. Chief Minister Banerjee extended a heartfelt welcome, presenting Ronaldinho with a football as a symbol of their shared passion for the sport.
The football icon's visit left an enduring impression on the people of Kolkata. Notably, Arup Biswas, Firhad Hakim, and representatives from Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, and Mohammedan Sporting were present to share in the festivities. They also presented Ronaldinho with jerseys from their respective clubs, marking the unity of football across the city.
During his visit, Ronaldinho spent over 15 minutes at the Chief Minister's residence, engaging in meaningful conversations. It is rumored that Chief Minister Banerjee sought valuable advice on advancing football in West Bengal, and Ronaldinho, in a gesture of appreciation, presented her with a Brazilian jersey as a parting gift.
In the midst of Durga Puja's grandeur, Ronaldinho's presence added a unique touch to the festivities, fusing the city's passion for football with its devotion to the goddess. The "City of Joy" will undoubtedly cherish this unforgettable experience for years to come.