KARACHI (AFP) - Portuguese tremendous Luis Figo and Brazilian big name Kaka Thursday vowed to help develop the "exquisite promise" of football in Pakistan, a rustic obsessed with cricket and two times banned from worldwide football.

the two legends -- who each played for Spanish club real Madrid -- are in Pakistan for a day-lengthy go to as a part of the sector soccer Stars tour, aimed at grooming nascent talent via exhibition suits and coaching clinics.

The 2000 Ballon d Or winner Figo, wielding a cricket bat in a nod to the game s reputation in Pakistan, informed journalists in the southern port town of Karachi that he turned into "excited" to be there.

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"there's a first-rate promise of football in Pakistan so we are right here to help develop the sport," said Figo, who also played for Barcelona earlier than retiring in 2009.

Kaka, himself carrying a cricket ball, stated the pair have been "devoted" to promoting football globally.

"We ... Have a good impact of Pakistan," delivered the 2007 Ballon d Or winner, who also performed for AC Milan and retired in 2017.

Pakistan boasted a top 10 place in Asian football until the early 1970s, but a scarcity of presidency help and poor infrastructure have seen them sink to 199 inside the FIFA rankings.

Pakistan became banned in 1995 and once more in 2017 over violating FIFA s rule that every one federations should be freed from any authorities and judicial interference of their respective international locations.

The maximum current ban turned into lifted in 2018, but Pakistan is on the verge of a 3rd strike after the top of its federation refused to accept the outcomes of a arguable leadership election held closing month.

Cricket is king within the South Asian u . S . Of greater than 2 hundred million humans, which has never qualified for the FIFA global Cup.

but a 2017 go to through 8 worldwide stars led by means of Brazilian legend Ronaldhino proved the game is gaining recognition, with more youthful generations adoring the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Luca Modric.

Figo and Kaka sponsored FIFA s stance of growing the variety of world Cup teams from 32 to forty eight inside the 2026 occasion to be co-hosted through the us, Mexico and Canada.

It method "more gamers and more opportunities", Figo stated, at the same time as Kaka was hoping Pakistan might capture the threat and appear inside the world Cup "quickly".

Pakistan soccer crew captain Saddam Hussain also met Figo and Kaka, while a host of young fans received autographs and took selfies with the two players.

the 2 stars can even go to Lahore later Thursday, and are anticipated to return for exhibition matches and education clinics from April 23-26 this year.