LAHORE: Pakistan is safe country and has immense talent in football, said a group of footballers led by Brazilian legend Ronaldinho who are currently on a visit to promote the sport in the nation.
The iconic footballers addressed a press conference in Lahore ahead of their second exhibition match. Former Manchester United and England mid-fielder Ryan Giggs said that Pakistan is a safe country and international players should come here. “We want to give a message that Pakistan is safe country to visit.”
Giggs also said Pakistan immense talent in football. “Football is huge here especially with the younger generation,” he said thanking for the hospitality and saying that they know more about Pakistan now than just cricket.
“Pakistan is good place to come and the there is love for football here,” he said and raised slogans of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’.
However, Riggs said that Pakistan needs to invest in the best infrastructure and coaches to come which will make the sport flourish to the next level.
“Pakistan is ranked like 200. So you need the best infrastructure and coaches to take it forward,” he said reminding that coaches should not bring their philosophy but instead look at the football culture here.
He said that it is difficult to make an conclusion from just one one match, but the young players have the dedication and passion, but require more discipline in their game.
Ronaldinho speaking in Portugese said he immensely enjoyed his stay here and thank the organisers for the arrangements. French striker Robert Pires also called for the need to improve football infrastructure in the country.
The footballers received a rapturous welcome on arrival in Lahore. They were escorted by military personnel to a local hotel amidst tight security. There are strict fool-proof security arrangement at the Fortress Stadium where the match is being played. The parking space is made at a distance while fans will be shuttled to the stadium.