The Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) came to a standstill as scores of people gathered to welcome the Barcelona Legends led by Brazilian and World Cup winner Ronaldinho ahead of the exposition match against the 2012 AFCON winning squad.
From the government’s side, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Sports, Kangwa Chileshe, led other officials from the Ministry of Tourism and other government wings in receiving the legends team.
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Soccer fans led by Zambia Sports Fans Association (ZASPOFA) strongman, Peter Makembo, and others from different walks of life thronged the airport to have a glance and take pictures with Barcelona legends.
The Qatar plane carrying the legends touched down at exactly 14:10 at the KKIA with Ronadinhio immediately leading fellow players and staff into the press conference that lasted close to 45 minutes.
Fans lined up, chanting ‘Welcome to Zambia’ slogans, while a privileged few had opportunities to take selfies and have their autographs signed by players.
The Legends promised to give Zambia a game worth their money and time.
Speaking during the press conference, Ronaldinho promised Zambians an enthralling encounter against the Chipolopolo legends.
“On behalf of the other legends here, we are happy to be in Zambia and we are grateful for the hospitality. About the game, we can only promise the Zambians that we shall give them a memorable game with a lot of goals. It will be good and we shall showcase our skills in the exhibition match, ” Ronaldinho said.
Legends coach, Albert Ferrer, said the team was excited to be in Zambia and we’re ready for the game.
“It feels good to be in Zambia and we feel at home. Thank you, Zambia for the good hospitality. We are here to enjoy and have a great game against the Zambia legends. The weather is pretty good and of course, we are here to create historic moments. The team is ready and looking forward to the crowds in the stadium,” Ferrer said.
Zambia’s Sports Permanent Secretary Chileshe welcomed the legends and urged them to enjoy Zambia’s hospitality and tourism.
“As a government, we are excited that the legends of Barcelona are finally here. We welcome you to Zambia and enjoy the hospitality, food, culture, and most importantly tourism. We are excited that the people of Zambia will finally watch Ronaldinho and other stars here. We are looking forward to having a great game, ” Chileshe said.
And Kings of Africa Director Projects, Tichaona Mawoni,thanked all its partners for making the Legends game a success.
“Ours is to thank the government and all our partners because of the age of the legend here. Thursday indeed will be great and we can only urge people to get their tickets and be part of the event. Let’s create some historic moments through this exhibition match and yours,” Mawoni said.
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