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Siliguri bags Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro for PLS
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Siliguri bags Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro for PLS

India Blooms News Service

Kolkata, Jan 31 (IBNS) The Siliguri team acquired the services of former Italian 2006 World Cup winning football team captain Fabio Cannavaro for the upcoming opening season of the Premier League Soccer (PLS) in Kolkata on Monday.

Among the five celebrity Icon players for the five teams Cannavaro and former Argentine striker Hernan Crespo, two of the biggest names, went for the highest prices of $830,000 and $840,000 to Siliguri and Barasat respectively.

The entire auction event, organized by the Celebrity Management Group, that is also responsible for bringing together the soccer gala, was “a great success” with five rounds of auctioning.

The bidding for Cannavaro saw some action until he was finally taken by Siliguri at $50,000 over his base price of $780,000 but Crespo was sold at his base price only.

French midfielder and former Arsenal player Robert Pires’ name shook up the bidding quite a lot before being sold to Howrah for $85,000 over his base price of $715,000.

Both Kolkata and Durgapur franchisees harried a lot for the services of English midfielder Robbie Fowler but it was Kolkata who clinched the deal at $550,000.

Nigerian Jay-Jay Okocha had initially gone unsold and so Durgapur had to settle with him at the end of the auction.

The day had kicked off with considerable movement as all of the franchisees zoomed in on English football coach Peter Reid but it was Kolkata who finally secured him for a price of $200,000, which was $25,000 above his base price.

Nigerian Samson Siasia went to Durgapur along with Icelandic Teitur Thordarson to Barasat for the highest amounts of $210,000 each.

The greatest action of the day was however seen in the last category of overseas players for the Nigerian Robert Egbeta, who was acquired by Kolkata for a whopping $250,000 over his base price of just $100,000.

The first edition of PLS is all set to commence with six franchisees, namely, Kolkata, Howrah, Barasat, Durgapur, Siliguri and Haldia fighting for glory.

Each team will have one icon player, one icon coach, two overseas players and one overseas player of Asian origin and apart from the Haldia franchisee all of the rest have secured their deals.

The round up so far (All the listed prices are in USD):

Kolkata: Coach: Peter Reid (200,000); Icon Player: Robbie Fowler (530,000); Overseas Players: Robert Egbeto (350,000) and Daniel Varela (120,000); Asian Origin Player: Park Ji-Seung (140,000).

Howrah: Coach: Fernando Couto (240,000); Icon Player: Robert Pires (800,000); Overseas Players: Jose Gabriel Rios (180,000), Diego Madrigal (120,000); Asian Origin Player: Byun Yoon Chui (115,000).

Siliguri: Coach: Marco Etcheverry (200,000); Icon Player: Fabio Cannavaro (830,000); Overseas Player: Santino Quaranta (180,000), Limberg Gutierrez (180,000); Asian Origin Player: Hwang Gyu Hwan (90,000).

Durgapur: Coach: Samson Sia Sia (210,000); Icon Player: Jay Jay Okocha (550,000); Overseas Players: Jose Carlos Castillo (80,000), Alonso Solis (200,000); Asian Origin Player: Kim Bong Kyeom (150,000).

Barasat: Teitur Thordarson (210,000); Icon Player: Hernan Crespo (840,000); Overseas Players: Christian Lara (200,000), Joaquin Botero (180,000); Asian Origin Player: Park Byoung-Gyu (90,000).

(Reporting by Arnab Chakraborty, Photos by Akash Goswami/IBNS)

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