International Soccer Star 'El Pibe' to Visit Queens Center Mall

By Katie Honan on May 9, 2014 8:35am 

 "El Pibe" will be at the Queens Center Mall on Saturday to meet with fans.
"El Pibe" will be at the Queens Center Mall on Saturday to meet with fans.
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Getty Images/Valerio Pennicino

ELMHURST — An international soccer star will help kick off World Cup celebrations at the Queens Center Mall.

Carlos "El Pibe" Valderrama, who was the team captain for the Colombian national team, will hold a meet-and-greet at the mall on Saturday, May 10 from 4-6 p.m.

"El Pibe" started playing in Colombia in 1981 and became internationally known because of his unique ball-handling skills and his bright blond hair.

Valderrama appeared in multiple World Cups and won the Colombian National Championship in 1993 and 1995.

He played in the United States for the Tampa Bay Unity during Major League Soccer's first season in 1996, winning the league's first MVP award. He stayed with MLS until 2002.

The event, which is sponsored by Verizon, is part of a weekend of activities in the mall and will also feature an interactive soccer game, trivia and a Plinko-inspired game with prizes.

Verizon's tour will visit four other states, including Maryland, Texas, California and Florida, as it gears up for the World Cup, which runs from June 12 to July 13 in Brazil. 

The event runs on Saturday, May 10 and Sunday, May 11 from noon until 6 p.m. at the Queens Center Mall, 90-14 Queens Blvd. It will be held on the second floor between Kay Jewelers and Helzberg Diamond.

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