Friday’s final draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup was a glitzy party that enchanted with all the sparks of an Oscars ceremony, except that on parade were the legends of the game while the stars watched far away on television in anticipation.On the red carpet were bonafide football royalty Diego Maradona, Ronaldo de Lima, Cafu, Fabio Cannavaro, Carles Puyol, Clarence Seedorf, Diego Forlan and Miroslav Klose among many others.The king of football, Pele, wheelchair-bound, was also in attendance and he was shown a very warm welcome by the other legends who gathered around him for photos.Nigeria legends Nwankwo Kanu and Jay Jay Okocha and Cameroonian great Samuel Eto’o also came dressed in natty looking black suits as the crème of world football gathered inside the Kremlin Palace for the draws.
Former England striker Gary Lineker was one of the draw hosts. For many journalists, it was a delightful task of spotting the stars as the legends walked into the hall for a cocktail hosted by the World Cup sponsors. “Did you see Maradona? Did you see Ronaldinho? Have you seen Mathaus?” were the questions on the lips of many journalists. However, there was no access to speak with the legends as the gap between them and the media was highly enforced by the Kremlin security staff.
While their best football years are definitely far behind them, the legends of football continue to thrill in person as much as they did on the pitch in their heydays.The FIFA World Cup draws was a very good opportunity to bring out the old stars for us to behold them as the young players of today hope to become like them in future.