Kolkata, the football-mad city known for its rich history in the sport, witnessed a momentous occasion as Emiliano Martinez, the significant other of Argentina's third FIFA World Cup triumph, arrived on July 3. This marked the first time that the city would play host to a reigning World Cup winner, adding another chapter to its storied football legacy that has welcomed legends like Pele, Maradona, Messi, and Cafu.
Amid tight security arrangements, the Golden Glove winner of the 2022 World Cup checked into his five-star hotel located on EM Bypass. Martinez's arrival was met with an outpouring of excitement and support from passionate fans who waved the Albiceleste colors and cheered for their football hero. His visit has created an electrifying atmosphere, drawing attention from football enthusiasts across the city.
Expressing his delight, Martinez shared, "I'm feeling great. It's a lovely country. I'm delighted to be here. I'm really excited. I promised I'm gonna come to India, so I'm here. It's a place I always wanted to come." The 30-year-old goalkeeper's presence in Kolkata marks a significant milestone, as his outstanding performance during the penalty shootout against France last December secured Argentina its first World Cup victory in 36 years.
During his two-day visit, Martinez's schedule is packed with various engagements and events. His first appearance will be at the 'Tahader Katha' program, where he will interact with approximately 500 school children at Biswa Bangla Mela Prangan in the afternoon. Later, he will head to the iconic Mohun Bagan ground, where he is slated to felicitate 10 Bengal goalkeepers, including Bhaskar Ganguly and Hemanta Dora. To add to the excitement, an exhibition match between Mohun Bagan All Stars and Kolkata Police All Stars is scheduled for July 4.
On the concluding day of his trip, July 5, Martinez will visit Sreebhumi Club in Lake Town, where he will be part of the 'Paanch e Paanch' program. During this event, he will have the honor of awarding the winners and engaging in a football clinic for young enthusiasts at Santosh Mitra Square. The goalkeeper's visit has brought a wave of anticipation and joy to football fans in Kolkata, who have been eagerly waiting for such a momentous occasion.
Martinez's journey to Kolkata was preceded by a visit to Dhaka, Bangladesh, where he had the opportunity to meet the country's Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina. Describing his experience as "extraordinary," Martinez expressed his gratitude to the people of Bangladesh for their love, care, and unmatched hospitality. In an Instagram post, he wrote, "The people here, with their love, care, and unrivaled hospitality, have truly melted my heart. I eagerly anticipate my return to this beautiful country in the near future."
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