Kolkata, Jan 30: Italy's 2006 World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro got the maximum bid after being sold to Siliguri franchise, as a galaxy of world footballers and coaches went under the hammer here today for the Premier League Soccer to be held next month.
The former Italian defender who retired last year following a serious knee problem was sold to the Siliguri franchise for USD 830,000, while attacking French midfielder Robert Pires too was bid intensely by five teams before being gone to Howrah for USD 800,000.
Former Argentina and Chelsea midfielder Hernan Crespo, who once held the world record in transfer fee, was expectedly the top draw in the auction with the highest base price of USD 840,000 but the former Lazio star had no bidders as Barasat clinched the deal.
Crespo's lawyer Gianluca Chibbaro, who was present at the auction, said the Argentine star was looking forward to play in PLS.
“He is very excited to come to India and play. We all are too much excited. This is going to be hugely successful,” Chibbaro told PTI.
The remaining two franchises, Kolkata and Durgapur, zeroed in on former English and Liverpool star Robbie Fowler (USD 530,000) and Jay-Jay Okocha (USD 550,000) respectively. Okocha went unsold as Durgapur had to settle for the Nigerian midfielder.
The auction began with the bidding of English football manager Peter Reid, with a base price of USD 175,000, generated much of interest before being sold to Kolkata for USD 200,000.