Maradona museum in Kerala hotel

Room No. 309 at Hotel Blue Nile in Kannur is now a kind of museum for the Argentine football legend.

The room has retained just about everything Maradona used when he stayed there for two days in 2012.   -  S. K. Mohan

For a night’s stay at a hotel in Kannur, ₹8,000 is costly.

But, Sumesh Varier, doesn't mind it a wee bit. For, he would be sleeping in the room where Diego Maradona stayed for two days in the north Kerala town.

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Room No. 309 at Hotel Blue Nile is now a kind of museum for the Argentine football legend. It has retained just about everything Maradona used — including the plates on which he ate and even the shell of the giant tiger prawn, which was specially cooked for him by the chef — when he stayed there for two days in 2012 during his visit for a private function in the city. There are also several pictures, in large frames, featuring Maradona.

‘Great fortune’

This is the tribute to the 1986 World Cup winner by the hotel’s proprietor, V. Ravindran. “I have always been a huge fan of Maradona and the Argentine football team,” he says. “I consider it as my great fortune that he stayed in my hotel.”

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Many fans of Maradona, and football in general, ask for the room, he adds. “The rate of the room is almost the same as the others, but the fact is that the revenue from it is far less, as we had to turn two rooms into one when Maradona's manager told us that the original space wasn't enough,” he says. “I am not bothered at all about the financial viability. Maradona means so much to me.”

‘Dream come true’

Sumesh echoes the same sentiment. “When I recently came to know of the hotel, I decided to stay there for my next business trip to Kannur,” he says. “It is like a dream come true. Maradona is like a god to me.”

He could not have timed his visit to Kannur better. It was on the night the World Cup kicked off in Moscow.