KARACHI: The International football icons Brazilian Ricardo Kaka and Portuguese Luis Figo landed in Pakistan and unveiled World Soccer Stars’ matches to be held in April later this year where the duo will lead teams.
According to organizers, the international legends will be leading star-studded line ups from April 26-29 in Karachi and Lahore. Other icons of the game will be revealed on World Soccer Stars 2019’s official social media channels.
Brazilian footballer Kaka, while speaking at a ceremony held at a local hotel in Karachi on Thursday, said that he was happy to be in Pakistan and appreciated warm welcome. Figo also reiterated what Kaka said and hoped that football to flourish in the country.
Kaka said, “I am pleased to captain World Soccer Stars. My team has all the ingredients of a star-studded line up from around the world all crafted specially for Pakistan are you ready to help me take on Team Figo?”
Ricardo Kaka acknowledged that football was not as popular as cricket in Pakistan. “But we think the door is opening “The advice is to keep dreaming and run after your dream. A lot of people don’t do that,” he added.
Replying to a question regarding opening football academies in Pakistan, Kaka said he has a small project that he is starting in Brazil. “If it works, then we will bring the project to Pakistan as well.”
Luis Figo said “The very best of football and music will entertain Pakistan and I expect Pakistan to be there in full force. I am delighted to be the opposite team captain of World Soccer Stars its game on, be ready Team Kaka!”
Figo was asked whether he supported Real Madrid or Barcelona. “It’s an easy question; I’m a member of Real Madrid.”
When asked which of the two Ronaldos Cristiano or the Brazilian footballer was better, Luis Figo chose not to compare the two. “Normally I don’t compare players because of different styles. And if you choose one, it seems the other is not important. I have played with both. I can’t choose one.”
Portuguese footballer Figo said his advice to aspiring footballers was to work hard, adding that “it’s important that the government creates opportunities.”
However, the impressive event was also marred by mismanagement by the organizers, which prompted almost all media persons to stage a protest walkout as the event started two hours.
Some media persons even complained of discrimination as only a select few media houses were given opportunity to hold exclusive interviews with the footballers.
Moreover, no one from Pakistan’s football community were asked to meet the footballers and only a request from a media person forced organizers to call Pakistan football team captain Saddam Hussain on stage, who presented Pakistan’s ‘green-shirts’ to the two footballers and interacted with them.
Saddam was happy to meet the international football stars and hoped that Pakistan football would benefits from such events.
Ahmer Kunwar of TouchSky Group, the event’s host, said that this World Soccer Stars event will present Pakistan’s soft image globally.
Many kids got brilliant opportunity to interact and get autographs and selfies with football legends during the event.
Earlier, the former Real Madrid superstars arrived in the port city in the afternoon. They tweeted a message for Pakistani fans prior to boarding their Karachi-bound flight.
Both International footballers had announced their planned visit of Pakistan last week through video snippets.
“It’s excited to see another emerging country in Asia embrace football,” Figo had said in a video announcement of his visit to Pakistan. “I’m certain in a population of 220 million there must be huge potential waiting to emerge into the international scene.”
“I am delighted to visit Pakistan and play an instrumental role in promoting and helping football in the country. I have never been to Pakistan so I am really excited to come and play football whilst helping unearth hidden talent,” said Kaka, who retired from professional football in 2017.
The both footballers are being brought by TouchSky Group, a UK-based player and event Management Company, which also brought Ronaldinho and several others stars to the country in 2017 in another exhibition event.