Argentina's World Cup winning goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez wants to visit Bangladesh and has gone out of his way to arrange a one-day trip in Dhaka before his two-day tour of India in July.
Martinez is scheduled to fly to Kolkata on 4 July for a special visit where he will visit the Mohun Bagan football club, attend a football match, meet with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and former India captain Sourav Ganguly among other activities.
Satadru Dutta, a sports promoter who played the key role in arranging the event, informed that Martinez was very keen to visit Bangladesh, the country which formed a special bond with Argentina during the course of the Qatar World Cup over their joint love for the Argentina national team and Lionel Messi.
“Martinez really wants to visit Bangladesh,” Satadru said on Sunday morning from Kolkata. “I contacted him to bring him only to Kolkata. He said himself, “I also want to go to Bangladesh. There are many fans of mine and the Argentina football team over there.” After that I started contacting various sponsors in Bangladesh.”
Satadru is currently in talks with a number of potential sponsors in Bangladesh. The travel itinerary of Martinez’s Bangladesh tour is also being finalised. As per the preliminary itinerary, Martinez will arrive in Dhaka in the morning of 3 July. He will stay in Dhaka for the day and then leave for Kolkata the following morning.
Martinez’s heroics in the penalty shootout in the World Cup final against France helped Argentina win their third World Cup title and made him an instant hero in the eyes of legions of Argentina fans in Bangladesh.
The Argentina football team had come to Bangladesh in 2011 for a FIFA friendly match against Nigeria. But Martinez wasn’t a part of that squad.