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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

A temple from the ‘Hand of God’ in Maradona’s name

Ramesh Babu, Hindustan Times  Thiruvananthapuram, October 27, 2012
First Published: 23:23 IST(27/10/2012) | Last Updated: 23:27 IST(27/10/2012)

The ‘hand of god’ has been responsible for a new creation — a museum in north Kerala’s Kannur.

During his two-day visit to India last week, soccer legend Diego Maradona had stayed in suite no. 399 of Hotel Blue Nile. Now, flooded with fans’ requests to book the room, the authorities of the four-star hotel have decided to convert it into a museum.

“His fans are eager to spend a night in the room,” said hotel chairman V Ravindran. Currently, a Qatar-based businessman is occupying the room. He has booked it for a month and paid the money in advance.

“Flooded with similar requests, we thought it proper to convert the room to a museum,” said Ravindran. The ‘Maradona museum’ would display the two balls he autographed, gifts and rare photographs.

A special attraction would be the photograph of Maradona’s girl friend, Veronica Ojeda. It was not known whether he forgot to pack the photo or abandoned it. But it would be kept exactly where it was left — at a table adjacent to the bed. Ojeda is currently pregnant with Maradona’s fourth child.

It took Ravindran almost two months to arrange the suite for Maradona’s visit.

“He was moved when he saw the picture of his grandson Benjamin in the suite,” said Ravindran, recalling his rendezvous with the star. Benjamin is the three-year-old son of Maradona’s daughter Giannima, who is married to Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero.

 “It was a rare opportunity to serve the ‘legend’. We should preserve such moments,” Ravindran added.

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