Ronaldinho kicks off Nagjee Cup after 20-year hiatus

The family members of Sait Nagjee, who had begun the tournament back in 1952, handed over the all new sparkling trophy of the Nagjee International Club Football Tournament 2016 to Ronaldinho to mark the inauguration of the event.

Kozhikode welcomed Ronaldinho with firecrackers and placards and above all thunderous applause and wolf whistles.   -  S. Ramesh Kurup

It was the ultimate celebration as far as the football buffs of Kozhikode was concerned. The Sait Nagjee Football tournament that was very popular in the region 20-year-ago is back with a bang, this time as an international club competition. And who better to inaugurate it than Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho, the heartthrob of millions of football fans across the world!

Kozhikode welcomed Ronaldinho with firecrackers and placards and above all thunderous applause and wolf whistles. Thaikkudam Bridge, Kerala’s popular music band, played a significant role in setting up the environment of fun and enthusiasm with its peppy numbers and all time hits. Thousands of people witnessed the grand event across the vast expanse of Kozhikode Beach. The family members of Sait Nagjee, who had begun the tournament back in 1952, handed over the all new sparkling trophy of the Nagjee International Club Football Tournament 2016 to Ronaldinho to mark the inauguration of the event.

The Nagjee tourney will be held at the renovated Kozhikode Corporation Stadium from February 5 to 21. Eight teams from seven countries are taking part in the tournament in this edition. The participating teams include the Argentina (U-23), Watford FC (U-23) from England, Levante UD (U-23) from Spain, Club Atletico Paranaense (U-23) from Brazil, TSV 1860 München (U-23) from Germany, Rapid Bucharest, Romania, Shamrock Rovers F.C., Ireland and I-League (U-23) from India.

The tourney is being re-launched by the Kozhikode District Football Association and Mondial Sports. The primary goal is to restore the old glory and revive the sport in its pure form (unlike the franchise model). Keeping up with its legacy of promoting peace, UK-based charity, Football for Peace is associated with the event which is primarily sponsored by Aster MIMS.