As some of the greatest football stars of this era showed their tricks to raise funds for the Laureus Foundation, Carlos Queiroz, looking dapper, watched in rapt attention. So what if this was a charity event, the former Portuguese coach was silently recording details of every move, mispass and crosses.
"Can't help it," he said in English - the off-shoot of being Sir Alex Ferguson's assistant at Manchester United for nearly two years - with a shrug and a smile. If all is well, Queiroz could come to train young footballers at the Bhaichung Bhutia Football School in New Delhi this year. Bhutia, also here to play in the charity match, was seen having an animated conversation with Queiroz, almost coaxing him to come to India as early as possible. Even Queiroz is game.
"But I can't rush with things and will have to go through my schedule for the year before finalising the dates," said the 58-year-old coach. "India has the potential and given the right training and facilities there will be good players coming out of the region.
"Bhaichung has taken the initiative and we have been in discussion to put in place a well-organised set up. I am looking at long stints in India. I can even stay for months also and would love to open schools at different places in India as well."
Under Queiroz, Portugal went out with a whimper in the last World Cup, losing to Spain in the second round. He subsequently lost his job for aggressive behaviour with anti-doping officials but the man has been credited with guiding Portugal's 'golden generation'. He was the manager of Portugal U-20 team when Luis Figo, Rui Costa, Fernando Couto and Vitor Baia were in their teens.
"To have such an experienced coach will not only benefit our students but also help Indian football grow," Bhutia said after playing with Patrick Viera, Edgar Davids, Marcel Desailly, Couto, Antonio Nikopolidis, Gianfranco Zola and Steve McManaman among others.
'We showed character'
Bhutia said it would be nice if India cashed in on the Asian Cup performance. "We might not have won, but the way we played, we showed character," he said. He hoped Bob Houghton would continue as India coach.
* "The writer's trip has been sponsored by Laureus"