‘Golden’ connect brings football god to God’s own country


In the winter of 2008, Diego Maradona visited football-mad Kolkata. Coming Tuesday, the Argentina legend will be amid more football-crazy fans — in Kerala. The man many consider to be the greatest footballer of all time will be in Kannur to inaugurate a jewellery showroom — of all reasons.

Of course, the winner of the 1986 World Cup, now 51 years old, will also showcase some of his sublime skills on the football field.

Kerala-based Boby Chemmanur Jewellers have roped in Maradona to cut the ribbon for the opening of the group's 26th showroom, and flag off its helicopter service, Boby Chemmanur Airlines. Kerala's jewellery powerhouses have in the past brought in several endorsers from Bollywood, but getting Maradona over raises the game, so to speak, to an altogether different level.

Chemmanur spokesperson J S Shaji said they are currently in talks with Maradona to make him the group's brand ambassador. "In 2011, our managing director Boby ran into Maradona in Dubai, where he was training with his team. Diego agreed to open our showroom in Dubai," Shaji said. "The two kept up their friendship, and Maradona agreed to come to Kerala for this event."

"In all probability, he will be our brand ambassador," Shaji said.

The spokesperson said Chemmanur were considering starting operations in Maradona's native Argentina as well. The bond with Maradona will then only strengthen, he said.

Maradona is set to reach Kochi on October 23, following which he will be flown by helicopter to Kannur. A football stadium with a capacity of 40,000 has been booked for Maradona to show his magic to his fans, who have already decorated the entire city with banners and posters.

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