KOZIKODE: An old rusted traffic light post came crashing down, just missing the vehicle carrying former Brazilian football superstar Ronaldinho on Monday morning near here.
CPI-M legislator A. Pradeep Kumar told IANS that after completing his morning engagement when Ronaldinho came to visit a state-run school, his car was coming out from the school.
"As soon as his car came out from the school, an old rusted traffic light post fell before his vehicle. Seeing it, he smiled and the car sped away, negotiating the fallen post," said Kumar.
Since Sunday afternoon, the city of Kozhikode and football fans have been cheering the 35-year-old football wizard both at the civic reception given to him Sunday night and at the school meeting Monday morning.
"He is a very shy person and language is a problem too. Even today morning at the school, he was just waving his hands and saying hi to all. He has been enjoying his trip here, as did all who came to have a glimpse of him," said Kumar.
Ronaldinho is here after being named as the brand ambassador of the Sait Nagjee Football Tournament that is being revived after a gap of 21 years.
Even though the tournament is to begin on February 5 here, the organisers have brought in the two-time World Player of the Year and the 2002 World Cup winner to ensure that they get a very strong pre-event publicity.
"His job is over and we have got a huge boost with his arrival for the promotion of the tournament. He has left for Kochi and would return later in the night," added Kumar, who is also a vice president of the State Football Association.
Ronaldinho was capped 97 times by his country in which he scored 33 goals. He also played for top clubs like Paris St. Germain, Barcelona and AC Milan.
The tournament will see the participation of seven teams from Europe, South America besides one I-League team. The last time the tournament was held in 1995, JCT Mills beat Dempo Goa to clinch the title.