Shibaji Banerjee to be conferred with Mohun Bagan Ratna posthumously

While former India goalkeeper Shibaji Banerjee was conferred with the Mohun Bagan Ratna, Fijian striker Roy Krishna was named as the Best Footballer of 2020-21.

Indian football

Legendary Mohun Bagan keeper Shibaji Banerjee is best remembered for denying the legendary Pele from scoring off a free-kick in an exhibition match against the visiting Cosmos in 1977 (Representative Image).   -  AIFF

Former India goalkeeper Shibaji Banerjee, who stood out against the Pele-led Cosmos Club in an exhibition match in Kolkata in 1977, will be conferred with Mohun Bagan Ratna posthumously, the club announced on Wednesday.

The executive committee members also unanimously adjudged Fijian striker Roy Krishna as the Best Footballer of 2020-21, having guided ATK Mohun Bagan to the runner-up finish in the Indian Super League.

Bengal skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran was chosen as the Best Cricketer, while Bidisha Kundu, who won the 100m hurdles and high jump events at the National Championship, was named as the Best Athlete.

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"Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation, this year also the Mohun Bagan Day Celebration (on July 29) would be organised digitally," the club said in a statement.

Legendary Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Banerjee, who died at the age of 68 four years ago, is best remembered for denying the legendary Pele from scoring off a free-kick in an exhibition match against the visiting Cosmos side in 1977.

He dived to snatch the ball from the Brazilian legend's feet in the match that was played in front of a capacity crowd at Eden Gardens. The match ended 2-2, and Banerjee received a lot of praise for his performance.

During his eight-year long professional career with the Green and Maroons, Banerjee won four Calcutta Football League, five Durand Cup, five IFA Shield, four Federation Cup and two Rovers Cup titles.

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