Soccer legend Diego Maradona arrived here to a tumultuous welcome from thousands of football crazy fans from all over the state.

The Argentine World Cup winning captain is in the state for tomorrow’s inauguration of a new showroom of Boby Chemmanur International Jewellers and Airlines, for which he is the brand ambassador.

Maradona, on a two-day trip to the state, arrived by a chartered helicopter from Nedumabassery International airport at Kochi.

Tight security was in place in the city, which saw a festive atmosphere with hundreds of fans pouring in from Kozhikode, Malappuram and Kasargod districts. About 2,000 police personnel were enlisted for security.

Maradona, who led Argentina to a World Cup triumph in 1986, waved to the crowds after landing at Kannur, a city which has hosted many international and national soccer tournaments.

The FIFA player of the 20th century along with Pele in 2000, had come to India once before for a function in Kolkata in 2008.

(This article was published on October 23, 2012)
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