by Mashal Riaz - Jul 12, 2017
Recently, Pakistan has had the great opportunity to host Brazilian football legend Ronaldinho and friends on 8th July 2017. He was accompanied by Manchester United's Ryan Giggs, Dutch star George Boateng, former England goalkeeper David James, Brazilian Roberto Carlos, former French players Robert Pires & Nicolas Anelka, and Portugal's Luis Boa Morte.
During their visit, they were scheduled to play two 7-a side matches in two of the biggest cities of Pakistan; the first one at Abdul Sattar Edhi Hockey Club in Karachi on 8th July 2017, and the other at Fortress Stadium, Lahore on 9th July 2017.
Both the events were carried out perfectly and proved to be a roaring success. The international football stars lauded the security and safety arrangements and said they did not encounter any problem or inconvenience during their stay. This successful sports event served as a great medium to better Pakistan’s image internationally and to prove that we are capable of providing a platform to conduct international level events in Pakistan. It’s about time the perception of the outside world about the security situation in Pakistan is changed and international sports activities return to Pakistan.
Ryan Giggs, speaking alongside the other visiting international players at a press conference on Sunday said, “We are happy to be here, we are enjoying it and hopefully we will be able to send a message to the world that Pakistan is a good and safe place to visit.”
Ronaldinho, 37, winner of the World Player of the Year twice said, “I am excited at the prospect of playing in Pakistan. This is a great opportunity for us to induce youngsters in Pakistan and we will do our best to do that.”
He also tweeted that Pakistan is peaceful & loving just before his match in Lahore.
Watching Pakistan host these international footballers, we hope that this initiative projects a positive image of our country that is rarely seen internationally.