Fans holding Argentina flags and life-size Messi cutouts, they poured in since 2am, more than one hour in advance of the Argentine star’s arrival. The football-crazy fans danced and cried deliriously, shouting ‘three cheers for Messi, three cheers for Argentina,’ as near stampede like scenes were witnessed outside the airport.
Messi is in Kolkata as part of an Argentina team to play a FIFA-sanctioned international friendly with Venezuela at the city’s Salt Lake stadium on Friday evening.
The football-mad city did not witness the similar crowd when Diego Maradona visited about 3 years ago as Kolkatans then had lined up on the streets whereas state government officials had come to welcome him at the airport.
“It’s an achievement for Kolkata. I don’t know what will happen to me when I see the God of football. Perhaps, I will faint,” passionate Messi fans Arindam Ghosh and Uttam Saha who were part of a 50-member team of Bidrohi Club in Baghajatin stated.