Shibaji Banerjee, a green and maroon legend, played for Mohun Bagan and is best remembered for stopping a free kick taken by Pele during the 1977 exhibition match against New York Cosmos.
Former India and Mohun Bagan shot-stopper Shibaji Banerjee, who famously denied Brazil’s legendary football player Pele in an exhibition match in 1977, will be conferred with Mohun Bagan Ratna posthumously.
The friendly match against New York Cosmos at the iconic Eden Gardens ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw.
Banerjee played more than one half of the game in which he made at least five good saves. Apart from denying Pele the chance to score from a direct free kick, the Bagan goalkeeper also blocked Pele in a one-on-one situation, drawing massive cheers from the crowd.
He had also saved Giorgio Chinaglia’s direct free kick. Chinaglia was at that time the highest scorer in Italian League.
A green and maroon legend, Banerjee played for Bagan for 11 years and died at the age of 68 four years ago.
“Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic situation, this year also the Mohun Bagan Day Celebration (on July 29) would be organised digitally,” the club said in a statement.
“The Executive Committee Members unanimously decided to confer the prestigious Mohun Bagan Ratna to Late Shibaji Banerjee (Posthumously) towards his achievements and contributions to Football,” it added.
The executive also picked Roy Krishna for the Best Footballer award for his stupendous and prolific season in 2020-21 ISL season.
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