Mohun Bagan Legends set to clash with FC Barcelona Legends in Kolkata in September
What's the story?
In what comes as a huge news for football aficionados in India, Kolkata, the country's football hub, will host the FC Barcelona Legends team on 28th September, 2018.
The Barcelona team, which is expected to be comprised of a host of World Cuppers, will take on the Legends of Mohun Bagan at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.
While the squads are yet to be named, it is expected that Eric Abidal, Gianluca Zambrotta, Edgard Davids and Patrick Kluivert will be heading to Kolkata. For Mohun Bagan, former forward and captain Jose Ramirez Barreto will be turning up in Green and Maroon colours.
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India has already played host to top foreign teams in the form of Bayern Munich, Santos, and Cosmos. A few years back, in 2011, Kolkata also witnessed an international friendly between Lionel Messi's Argentina and Venezuela.
For quite some time, efforts have been made to bring the Barcelona Legends team to India. Earlier this year, they were supposed to take on Juventus Legends in Mumbai but the tie was postponed indefinitely. Now, it finally looks like the stars are coming to India.
The heart of the matter
The match, titled 'Clash of the Legends', is being organised by Merlin Group in association with Football Next Foundation and Mohun Bagan.
“The histories of both the clubs date back to more than a century. FC Barcelona was founded in 1899 and our club was founded in 1889. Hence, we match each other in the legacy. It will be our honour to face a club that is rated amongst the topmost clubs in the world.
"We might not match them in terms of the heavyweight world cuppers and footballers they have, but we are no less in terms of the rich football history we have. We thank the Sports Department, Government of West Bengal for their support in this venture,” Mr AnjanMitra, Honorary Secretary, Mohun Bagan, said at a press conference.
Mr Kaushik Moulik, Founder, Football Next Foundation and the brain behind bringing FC Barcelona legends to the city, revealed how it has always been his dream to provide the best footballing experience.
The match will be held on 28th September, 2018 and until then, fans have to wait with bated breath. This is indeed a big step forward for Indian football.
For long, there have been speculations of the country hosting a pre-season friendly or a legends game in the past. Now, it looks like that moment has finally arrived when the superstars of yesteryears take on India's own in Kolkata.