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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

Football

Golden boy in City of Joy
Ritujaay Ghosh and Ratnalekha Mazumdar, Hindustan Times
Kolkata, July 30, 2010
First Published: 17:00 IST(30/7/2010)
Last Updated: 23:46 IST(30/7/2010)

The  dreams  of  millions  of soccer crazy Kolkatans came true as Uruguayan-football sensation and the winner of the Golden Ball in World Cup 2010, Diego Forlan set foot in the city early on Friday morning. Forlan is on a three-day visit to Kolkata to take part in a football reality show organized by newly launched Bengali channel Mahuaa Bangla.

Forlan, who arrived around 8.15 am after a prolonged 28-hour journey from Montevideo via Sao Paulo, Johannesburg and Dubai, looked visibly tired as he checked out of the airport since he had come. However, the sight of enthusiastic fans waiting outside the Netaji Subhash  Chandra Bose International Airport brought back smile on his face. Decked in a white T-shirt and denim, the soccer star straightaway headed towards the hotel.

“I had  heard that Kolkata is a football crazy city and now I realize this too,” said Forlan before leaving for the hotel. The footballer spent most of the day relaxing in his suite to get out of the jet lag. Interestingly, as earlier planned, the football-star wasn’t accompanied by his girlfriend Zaira Nara. “She was scheduled to come and her tickets were booked as both were holidaying in Sao Paulo but later she decided to go back home,” said a source close to the footballer.

However, Forlan preferred to stay put in his suite for the rest of day and didn’t  meet anyone so much so that he preferred avoiding the regular food available at the hotel. “He is on a routine diet most FIFA footballers follow, which comprise fruits, juices and high protein food,” said the source.

In the evening, the footballer however spent some time with former Brazilian World Cup star Bronco, who too has put up at the same hotel and is part of the same football reality show. “They interacted for some time. We don’t know what both were in a jovial mood,” added the source.

However, the euphoria of the  soccer  star’s visit continued till late evening as many kept gathering outside the hotel to get a glimpse of him. “I didn’t know that he was traveling in the same flight from Dubai as I was but I managed to get myself clicked with him. It was a crazy situation at the  immigration  when  even  the  custom officials put their work to halt seeing him. Forlan was too amazed to react and quickly gathered his baggage and moved out,” said Saptarshi Dutt, one of the co passengers.

The 31-year-old footballer will spend most of his time shooting for the reality on Saturday though he might visit Mother’s House on Monday. “He will be leaving on Monday but he is very interested in visiting Mother Teresa’s House but nothing has been finalized yet,” informs the source.


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