Black Pearl still rules the hearts of Kolkata


By Arnab Mitra

Kolkata: 38 years ago, ‘he’ came to the ‘City of Joy’ to play a friendly match with the then Mohun Bagan Athletic Club, and now, the ‘Black Pearl’ of football is again in the city for a two day visit.

The city has undergone a lot of changes, but the football crazy Bengalis did not miss the opportunity to have a glimpse of their hero ‘Pele’, and so the chattering voices of ‘Pele, Pele’ were heard at every place he visited.

2015-10-13 23.11.47Pele arrived in Kolkata on Sunday to attend a program at NSHM Knowledge campus. He also attended the program conducted by the state government to felicitate him ahead of his 75th birthday at Netaji Indoor Stadium.

In an interaction with Mir at NSHM knowledge campus, Pele said, “Both Christiano Ronaldo and Messi are very good players, but Neymer will be the future successor of International Football.” He also talked about his childhood, the street football, his parents, and his struggle to become the legendary figure of International football. The crowd burst into laughter when Pele said that the kiss of the queen will be his best birthday gift- better than a cake, in reply to a googly of Mir.

Sailendra Bhattacharya, the first Indian FIFA referee said that the sounds of ‘Pele, Pele’ will be the best gift for his birthday.

Pele’s two day visit ended on Tuesday. His visit, which coincided with the beginning of Durga Puja, has enhanced the festive spirit among Kolkatans.