Steven Gerrard in India 2017: When, where, how -- all you need to know

Sayantan Maitra
Steven Gerrard's farewell


Pele, Maradona, Lionel Messi, Roberto Carlos -- the greatest footballers in the world, present and former, have touched down at the mecca of Indian football, Kolkata, over the years. Who was the last England football legend who stepped at the city of joy, however, we ask?

In recent memory, well, we cannot think of many but fret not, as we might witness one of the veterans of English football in Kolkata, very soon...ONLY IF things go according to plan.

The Indian Football Association (IFA) -- governing body of the beautiful game in the city of joy -- is trying everything possible to bring Steven Gerrard -- former England football team skipper and Liverpool legend -- to the city in as early as May. 

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But we suggest not to keep high expectations of watching Gerrard, 36, play any exhibition match as such. At the most, he could kick the ball at the start of a game, just like Uruguay's Diego Forlan did in 2010 during a charity match at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.

Gerrard, if he indeed makes the visit, will be accompanying his boys from the Liverpool academy. In January this year, the midfield maestro returned to the Reds for a new assignment -- as the coach of the LFC academy. 

More on the possible Kolkata visit for Gerrard

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"I am trying every possible step to bring the Liverpool Academy to play at the IFA Shield 2017," said IFA chief Utpal Gangopadhyay to local newspapers. "Although the tournament has been postponed to May from April, we are trying every possible step to convince them, no matter how the odds may be."

Gangopadhyay also mentioned that the LFC Academy, as well as Gerrard, were almost convinced to play the tournament in the middle of April. But since the football board have planned a U-21 tournament at that time, the IFA Shield has had to be postponed to a month later.

The big battle now is to convince the Liverpool academy once again with new dates coming up for the tournament. Bigger question: Will Gerrard be available at that time?

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What is the IFA Shield?

The IFA Shield, re-christened as the U-19 tournament since 2015, has been in existence since 1893 and is the fourth oldest Cup football tournament in the world. The iconic tournament was the launchpad for the legendary Indian football clubs East Bengal and Mohun Bagan.

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