Shabab, a security personnel at the Kerala Kalamandalam in Thrissur, got curious as he spotted a familiar face among a bunch of Italian tourists visiting the institute. After taking a closer look, Shabab went up to the tourist and asked, “Are you Toto?” Smiling, the tourist replied, “Yes”.
The Italian was none other than Salvatore Schillaci, who led Italy to the third spot in the 1990 World Cup and won the Golden Boot. And only the security staff recognised the former footballer. Toto also posed for a selfie with Shabab before leaving Kalamandalam.
Seven celebrities, including Toto, and their partners came to India, as part of a couples challenge organised by a celebrity TV show in Italy. The tour group reached Kerala on Tuesday after visiting various Indian cities, including Mumbai.
After learning the Navarasa from Kalamandalam, their task is to present three of these rasas before the judges of the TV show. All seven couples were taught the rasas by the seven ‘ashans’ of Kalamandalam.
The group arrived around 7am on Tuesday and left by 11am. As the tourists were getting back into the vehicles to leave, Shabab approached the retired footballer with his query. Happy to have been recognised by the security personnel, Toto allowed Shabab to take a selfie with him.
A native of Puthussery, Shabab is an ardent football fan.
After visiting the Vadakkumnathan Temple, the group left for Kochi in the night. They will leave for Italy on Wednesday.
Toto scored six goals in the 1990 World Cup, which was hosted by Italy. Apart from the Golden Boot, he also won the Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament.