/Ronaldinho, Giggs arrive in Pakistan for exhibition matches

Ronaldinho, Giggs arrive in Pakistan for exhibition matches


Published 4:40 a.m. ET July 8, 2017 | Updated 4:40 a.m. ET July 8, 2017

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Ronaldinho and Ryan Giggs were among soccer stars to arrive in Pakistan on Saturday to play exhibition matches which organizers hope will boost the sport in the country.

Dutchman George Boateng, former France players Robert Pires and Nicolas Anelka, former England goalkeeper David James and Portugal’s Luis Boa Morte flew in via private jet to the capital Islamabad.

Brazilian Roberto Carlos was expected to arrive later for the first seven-a-side exhibition match in Karachi.

The tour has been organized by a private company, World Group, aiming to promote football in Pakistan, which is No. 200 out of 211 in FIFA rankings. Lahore will host the second exhibition on Sunday.

Pakistan has not hosted a major foreign team in any sports since an attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team’s bus in Lahore in 2009.

“For us it’s a big moment,” Pakistan football captain Kaleemullah said. “We didn’t ever dream that such big stars will come to Pakistan. I grew up watching Ronaldinho on television and I still can’t believe it, he’s in Pakistan.”

The 37-year-old Ronaldinho said in a…

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