Valderrama leaves Kolkata in a frenzy

The sleepy Mohun Bagan campus, which generally wakes up during the 128-year-old club’s home matches, came alive to welcome Colombian football star Carlos Valderrama on Friday.

Sourav Ganguly and Carlos Valderrama at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Friday.   -  Special Arrangement

The sleepy Mohun Bagan campus, which generally wakes up during the 128-year-old club’s home matches, came alive to welcome Colombian football star Carlos Valderrama here on Friday.

During his fast 30-minute visit to Bagan’s home on Maidan, Valderrama, accompanied by his wife Elvira, was presented a club jersey, a mug and a muffler. He shook hands with the Bagan players, who were at the fag end of their training session.

Looking gorgeous in his famous lion’s mane and green-and-maroon jersey flashing his favourite No. 10, 56-year-old Valderrama showed a glimpse of his artistry by juggling a ball 25 times with his right foot and 15 times in with his left at the club’s ground. He also tried some spot kicks successfully.

Valderrama, who was an iconic midfielder in the late 1980s and early 1990s, said he knew about Bagan and its tradition because of Argentine great Maradona’s visit to the club in 2008.

Also known as The Kid, Valderrama, who reached here on Thursday night after attending a FIFA under-17 World Cup promotional event in Mumbai, appreciated his experience in the country.

He interacted with the Bagan players before leaving the club.

Later, Valderrama, who represented his country in three World Cups and five Copa America tournaments, hopped across the street to meet former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly during his brief visit to the Eden Gardens.