What's the story?
Just as Kolkata was lamenting the news of the shift of next month's El Clasico legends match to Mumbai, a good piece of news has revived the "City of Joy" once again. Durga Puja, being the biggest festival celebrated in the city is very close to the hearts of the locals. As a result of this, legendary ex-Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn has agreed to visit the city and inaugurate a local pandal, much to the joy of the Kolkatans.
West Bengal state minister Firhad Hakim, who is also the chief organizer of Durga Puja in the city, was the one who took the initiative of inviting Kahn. Speaking to a Bengali daily Sangbad Pratidin, Firhad was quoted as saying: “Following the tradition, the Chief Minister of West Bengal will be present on the auspicious day of Mahalaya. Oliver Kahn will be present and will be our chief guest."
In case you didn't know
This is not the first time that the German legend will be visiting Kolkata. Oliver Kahn had played his farewell match in Kolkata way back in the year 2008. Leading the giants of Bayern Munich, Kahn led his team to victory against Kolkata heavyweights Mohun Bagan with a 3-0 score.
The heart of the matter
Kahn is not a new name when it comes to football. He is one of the most well-known goalkeepers the world of football has ever seen. With 86 international caps for the German national side, he also was a crucial member of Bayern Munich for 14 long seasons.
It is believed that when Kahn visited Kolkata back in 2008, he was so overwhelmed with his grand welcome that he wanted to return to the city someday. He was therefore given an opportunity to do so when he was contacted and invited to inaugurate the pandal, and the 2002 World Cup Golden Ball winner duly accepted the invitation.
With the festivities of Durga Puja just around the corner, Kahn will visit Kolkata on 19th September, which happens to be Mahalaya, the auspicious day that marks the beginning of Durga Puja.
The legendary Kahn has marked a place for himself in the hearts of all football fans, Kolkata even more, as the city is known for its football fanaticism. This gesture by the German legend will surely guarantee him a higher place in in the hearts of the Kolkatans, with football and Durga Puja being an integral part of the "City of Joy".