FIFA World Cup Trophy unveiled in Kolkata

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Kolkata (West Bengal), Jan 16 (ANI): German football legend Lothar Mathhaus unveiled the FIFA World Cup trophy 2010 in Kolkata.

The programme was part of the tour organised by Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA or International Federation of Association Football), soccer's governing body, to take the trophy around 86 countries to provide soccer fans an opportunity to see the World Cup Trophy.

The tour began its journey from the FIFA headquarters in Zurich on September 21, 2009 and will end in South Africa on May 4, 2010.

Addressing reporters at the unveiling ceremony, Matthaus said that the future of football lay in Africa and Asia.

"The future, the moment shows us - Asia and Africa is going on same level like Europe and South America and I accept the World Cup African team (is) best team, under the best teams all over the world," said Matthaus.

"I am sure in a couple of years we (will) have teams from Asia and from Africa under the top ten in the world," he added.

Matthaus, the first footballer to receive the FIFA Player of the Year Award in 1991, led West Germany to a historic 1990 World Cup triumph over Maradona's Argentina, but Matthaus hailed Maradona as the greatest footballer of our times.

Matthaus further said, "(Diego) Maradona was in his time the best player, especially in the 1986 World Cup. I think without Maradona, Argentina can never win the World Cup. In 1990, Italy was little bit different because Maradona didn't play at highest level like 1986."

"So it was easier for us to win the final against Argentina, I played professional football from 1979 till 2000 and in these 21 years I didn't see a better player than Maradona," he added.

The solid gold 6 kg-heavy trophy has been kept for public display in the Salt Lake. It will stay in the stadium for the next two days, after which the trophy shall travel to Vietnam and Thailand completing the Asian tour.

It is expected to travel across 89 countries in the world to create enthusiasm and reach out to the millions of football loving people all across the globe.

FIFA World Cup tournament will kick off in South Africa on June 11, 2010.(ANI)

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